Aggressive realism means displaying determination and energetic pursuit to succeed every time,
initiated by a strong desire of achievement orientation, writes M R Chandramowly.
Over the years behavioural scientists have observed that some people
have an intense need to achieve. The need for achievement is a distinct
human factor - observed a young psychologist. He got his doctorate in
psychology at Yale in 1941 and became a professor at Wesleyan
At Harvard he and his associates studied particularly this ‘urge to
achieve.’ He is David Clarence McClelland (1917-98) whose research led
him to believe that the need for achievement is a distinct human motive
that can be isolated and assessed in any group.
Based on his experiments (throwing rings over a peg from any
distance a participant chooses) he proved that the ‘Achievers’ normally
have a higher need to succeed and they carefully measure their steps to
get a sense of mastery - not too close to make a task ridiculously easy or
too far away to make it impossible.
McClelland maintains that achievement oriented people are not
gamblers to choose the big risk to get a result which is beyond their
power. Gamblers easily rationalise away their personal responsibility if they lose. Achievement oriented
people take the middle ground, preferring a moderate degree of risk because they feel that their efforts
and abilities will probably influence the outcome. In the process they discover the path of aggressive
Chance vs choice
Achievement oriented people do not believe in winning by chance. They choose and put effort designing
a process for achievement rather than leaving it to destiny or luck. Achievement, in a primary level, is
about accomplishing a task.
At a higher level it is the degree of impact and influence of a leader on other people to achieve. In
business, this aggressive realism is the mark of the successful entrepreneur. Another characteristic of
achievement-oriented people is that t