The Ambitious Manager at Penrose Steep leaned back in his comfy office chair and sighed with pleasure.
He was sad to leave his old team behind, but was very pleased with his new promotion. He had wanted to be promoted so much. As he thought about all the things he could do now, he was suddenly overwhelmed with the feeling he wasn’t quite happy enough. No, the Ambitious Manager thought, I won’t be truly fulfilled until I achieve my next promotion to become a department manager.
So, the Ambitious Manager threw himself into his new role, built a great team, enjoyed the best results ever at Penrose Steep and was lauded by his colleagues. He loved his work and everyone wanted to work with him.
Sure enough after a few years hard work, the Ambitious Manager was promoted to department manager.
His team threw a farewell party to celebrate and the Ambitious Manager told everyone how happy he was, both with his own achievement and also all those of his team. Deep down though, the feeling of pleasure and fulfilment at his promotion was already beginning to ebb away.
If only I could become a general manager, he thought. Now that really would make me happy.
The Ambitious Manager worked even harder to achieve his goal. He stayed late at night, worked at weekends and took few holidays. He never complained because he loved his work and the team he built. His team never complained either because they loved and respected the department manager. But the promotion remained his driving force.
No one was surprised when, after a couple of years, the Ambitious Manager won the promotion to general manager of Penrose Steep. He was thrilled and opened a big bottle of champagne to celebrate with everyone. Surely now I will be satisfied he thought to himself.
On the Ambitious Manager's first day as a general manager he reflected on how well he had done as he sat alone in his large office. He smiled as he thought about all the people he had worked with.
It’s been fun, he thought.
Then, a familiar empty feeling started to spread in the pit of his stomach.
I know I will feel completely satisfied when I become managing director, he thought, preparing himself for another few years of hard graft.
It is the journey, not the destination, which brings real happiness.