About the course

The Maximising Your Ambition course is a self-paced, fully digital developmental coaching journey over 16 weeks, that will help you break through barriers in your life and reach your potential.

We have worked with some of the most ambitious people and in some of the most ambitious environments globally, including at McKinsey – the global management consulting firm – and with more than 30 Fortune 500 companies. What differentiates this course is the combination of deep introspection and personal development practices, coupled with rigour and intensity.

We know that achieving your ambitions is complex, and that the answer is not just to “work harder” or lower your aspirations. Instead, we provide proprietary assessments and tools that you can put into place immediately. Maximising Your Ambition summarises more than 30 years’ of combined research and practice into a structured course with over 30 videos, workbook, exercise sheets, assessments, and templates.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Welcome to the program

    • The gifts and challenges of ambition, and the core concept

    • The journey ahead

  • 2

    Defining Ambition

    • How we define ambition

    • The 4 premises of ambition

    • Mapping your premises of ambition

  • 3

    Assessing My Return On Ambition

    • Defining the premises of my ambition

    • Return on Ambition assessment

    • Assessing your results and current trajectory: Achievement

    • Assessing your results and current trajectory: Growth

    • Assessing your results and current trajectory: Well-being

    • Red flags

  • 4

    What Gets In The Way Of My Ambition?

    • The concept of Frenemies and why they’re critical

    • Frenemy 1 – Competitiveness

    • Frenemy 2 – Desire

    • Frenemy 3 – Perseverance

    • Frenemy 4 – Boldness

    • Frenemy 5 – Independence

    • Frenemy 6 – Flexibility

    • Frenemy 7 – Convention

    • Frenemy assessment

  • 5

    Philosophy Of Ambition

    • Goals as ends vs. means, and the power of a philosophy

    • Example of a philosophy of ambition

    • Coaching session 1

  • 6

    Immediate Priority

    • The Three sources of poor goal setting

    • Setting effective goals + example

    • Coaching session 2

  • 7

    Weekly Deliberation

    • The power of learning loops

    • Hacking the brain

    • Coaching session 3

  • 8

    Frenemy Radar

    • Getting a grip on thoughts and feelings

    • Supervising your Frenemies

    • Coaching session 4

  • 9

    Recap And Post-Program Check-In

    • Your ongoing cadence for continuous development

    • Instituting personal rituals

  • 10

    BONUS: Peer Group Learning Sessions

    • Peer group learning group setup

    • Example agendas for learning sessions

    • How to be a great group facilitator


Nicolai Chen Nielsen

Nicolai Chen Nielsen is the Director of Transformation Services at Peakon, a Workday company, where he helps organizations use talent analytics and employee engagement tools to empower employees to drive the change they wish to see. He is a Partner at the Supertrends Institute, where he focuses on the intersection of cutting-edge technology, global trends, and the implications they have on organizations and leaders. Nicolai is an alumni of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community, and a former Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company. He has co-authored two bestselling books, Return on Ambition and Leadership At Scale.

Nicolai Tillisch

Nicolai Tillisch is a co-founder of Deliberate Development, the venture behind the StepUpYourDay software solution. He is also an associate with Cultivating Leadership, the global coaching firm, and a board member at Nordic Bildung, the think tank. Nicolai has coached top leaders on four continents for more than a last decade. Prior, he has been a consultant with McKinsey & Company and was an executive with DDB Worldwide, Hutchison, and Nokia Siemens Networks. He is the bestselling author of Effective Business In the Gulf, and Return on Ambitin. Nicolai lives with his wife Ida and their children, Margaux and Axel, in Denmark.

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