Friedrich Nietzche once advanced the idea that there are two mentalities in groups of people: slave mentality and master mentality. Slave mentality is characterized by willingness to cooperate and lack of desire to seek power or take charge. Master mentality is characterized by the desire to take charge of a group or people. In the past, especially when slavery was prevalent in western civilization, this master/slave mentality was less metaphor and more reality.
Nietzhe said that most people in western society have adopted a slave mentality, while a few have adopted the master mentality. It is the people who have adopted the master mentality that tend to be the most driven and ambitious. They are the CEOs of the world. They are the leaders.
The majority of us have adopted the slave mentality. Few people want to take charge. No one wants to rock the boat. A person with a master mentality is almost like a wolf among sheep.
If you find yourself hesitating to take charge of a situation when it is necessary, remember that most people in modern society have the slave mentality. They are ambitious only in their personal lives and in the lives of those close to them. A truly ambitious person concerns themselves with the lives of everyone, not just themselves. They want to have some measure of control over what everybody does or how they live.
Case in point would be tech industry CEOs. They want to make sure that their product is being used daily be everyone. Those CEOs have ambition. Most people do not really care what brand of computer they use or if they use Google, Yahoo, or even Lycos for web search. It falls to the master mentality of the CEO to try to get as many people to use their stuff, rather than the competitors’ stuff.
If one adopts a master mentality in modern society, they have a better chance of getting ahead of his or her peers.