December 18, 2019,

She has the ambition to marry a successful, powerful handsome man who is financially successful.

Is that good or otherwise?

She has the ambition to greatly impact the world financially.

Is that desirable or questionable?

She has the ambition to revolutionize the fashion industry.

Will that be beneficial or detrimental?

She has the ambition to influence politicians to pass important legislation that will positively impact the focus group that she is loyal to.

Is that good or bad?

Well, the answer to all of those questions depends upon what?

Let’s examine it.

Ambition is a powerful desire to do or to achieve something great, typically requiring determination and hard work.

It is very personal.

When you are ready to begin a discussion about beautiful ambitious women as a cautionary tale you need to look no further than the Silicon Valley in California.

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Elizabeth Anne Holmes is an American businesswoman who is the founder and former CEO of Theranos, a now-defunct company known for claiming to have revolutionized blood testing using surprisingly small volumes of blood, such as from a finger prick.

In 2015, Forbes Magazine named Ms. Holmes the youngest and wealthiest self-made female billionaire in America on the basis of a $9 billion valuation of Theranos.

By the next year, following revelations of potential fraud, Forbes revised her net worth to zero dollars, and Fortune named Holmes one of the “World’s Most Disappointing Leaders”.

You do not want to make Forbes angry.

The decline of Theranos began in 2015, when a series of journalistic and regulatory investigations revealed doubts about the company’s technology claims and whether Ms. Holmes had misled investors and the government.

In 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Theranos and Ms. Holmes with deceiving investors by “massive fraud” through false or exaggerated claims about the accuracy of her blood-testing technology.

Ms. Holmes settled the charges by paying a $500,000 fine, returning shares to the company, relinquishing her voting control of Theranos, and being barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for ten years.

In June 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Ms. Holmes and former Theranos chief operating officer Ramesh Balwani on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for distributing blood tests with falsified results to consumers.

It’s far from over.

A trial is set to begin in June of 2020.

This is the tricky part about ambition.

It may actually start out in a good place, as it seems to have with Ms. Holmes, otherwise why would she focus on this brilliant and very helpful cost effective health testing alternative to benefit millions if it actually worked.

Theranos claimed its technology was revolutionary and that its tests required only about 1/100 to 1/1,000 of the amount of blood that would ordinarily be needed and cost far less than existing tests.

Initially, there was possibly some good intentions.

Ms. Holmes expressed that she didn’t want anyone to die prematurely due to a lack of money for testing.

When we look at her interviews, we believe her.

So did world leaders, private industry titans and her investors who lost millions.

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She is fascinating to listen to and without humor, you never have to worry about her losing eye contact. She appears to never blink.

She is incredibly good looking too and it is okay to say that. That was also probably a factor in her believability.

Previous to her fall, she appeared to be extremely down to earth and likable. We suspect she still is. The challenge with a personality profile like hers is to discern what is real and what is not.

There is an important point here about ambition.

You can start out with the best intentions on your pursuit but over time you will probably be tested. What will become the priority for you? Your ego and need to fulfill your quest at any cost, especially if others are not only aware of your goal and even worse have invested in you, or doing the right thing and altering your original plan or dropping it all together?

Will you let you ambition rule your decision or a desire for a clear conscious?

Perhaps the desire not to fail in front of others is more persuasive than admitting you are going to re-think your plan.

John DeLorean is a perfect example.

John DeLorean was an American engineer, inventor and executive in the US automobile industry, widely known for his work at General Motors and as founder of the DeLorean Motor Company.

Mr. DeLorean managed development of a number of vehicles throughout his career, including the Pontiac GTO muscle car, the Pontiac Firebird, Pontiac Grand Prix, Chevrolet Cosworth Vega, and the DeLorean sports car, which was later featured (in modified form) in the 1985 film Back to the Future.

While still the youngest division head in General Motors history, Mr. DeLorean broke away to start the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC), in 1973.

Unfortunately production delays meant DMC’s first car and DeLorean’s independent creative opus – the DeLorean – did not reach the consumer market until 1981, eight incredibly long years later.

Possibly too late.

It was greeted by a depressed buying market which was compounded by unexpectedly lukewarm reviews from critics and the public. After a year, the DeLorean Company had failed to recoup its $175 million in investment costs. Unsold cars were accumulating, and the company was in dire financial straits.

In October 1982, John DeLorean was charged with cocaine trafficking after a former neighbor and confidential FBI informant, James Hoffman, solicited him as financier in a scheme to sell 220 pounds of cocaine, worth approximately $24 million. At the time, DMC was insolvent and in debt $17 million. Since Hoffman had approached DeLorean, a man he barely knew with no prior criminal record, fully aware of these financial circumstances, DeLorean was able to successfully defend himself at trial under the procedural defense of police entrapment. The trial ended in a not guilty verdict in August 1984, by which time DMC had already shutdown after declaring bankruptcy.

Once he realized his automobile dream was in ruins, Mr. DeLorean should have tried other approaches besides trying to finance his ambition with cocaine, a drug that eventually destroys lives and kills minors.

If those other approaches were not available, then he should have done what he eventually had to do anyway.

Quit.

Remember, ambition is a double-edged sword. Too little gets you nowhere at a snail’s pace and too much can land you in prison, an early stressful grave or harm others.

The informative team at lifehack.org help clarify, “Ambition usually involves goal setting. It does, however differ from pure conscientiousness or the basic need to achieve. People who are only motivated to achieve tend to focus on developing skills and competence rather than pursuing material rewards. Ambition, however, is specifically concerned with obtaining money or prestige.”

Which above describes your strongest ambitions?

“Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.”…Napoleon Bonaparte

How do you find the balance?

The answer appears to be, like a thermometer, you need to keep gauging the temperature.

It is very fluid.

Ambition is not remotely static. If it starts to get too hot, you need to try and bring it down towards a more stable temperature. If it is too cool then somehow you need to turn up the heater.

Since new goals are constantly being set as previous ones have been achieved and surpassed, ambition is about passionate balance that needs our constant attention.

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”…Cesar Chavez

It is always better to be ambitious about pathways that will benefit others especially your family, friends and community.

Sometimes, as in the case of Ms. Holmes, potentially perhaps the world too.

~ ~ ~

Opening Photo fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, fcielitecompetitor.com, photo-via-Jooinn.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Holmes

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/collections/201607/the-right-dose-ambition

https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/ambition-quotes 

https://www.lifehack.org/417178/why-some-people-are-more-ambitious-than-others

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_DeLorean