Stubborn On Vision And Flexible On Details

There’s a famous Jeff Bezos quote that applies to all of our work. It’s about knowing where we’re going, and accepting there’s probably more than one way to get there. As he says, “We’re stubborn on vision and flexible on details.” Amen.

Once you know the mountain you want to summit, you’ll look around to figure out how to get to the top. You’ve got to be stubborn on this vision (getting to the top) and flexible on the details (which path gets you to the peak). The vision won’t change, but the details might.

Before Amazon started their third-party seller business, they went through a handful of failed iterations. You might remember Amazon Auctions, zShops, and Amazon Marketplace. RIP to all of them. As Bezos says, “We don’t give up on things easily.” Yeah. No kidding Jeff.

Back to us regular-folk: once you’ve got the result in mind that you won’t compromise on, it’s time to get extra-compromising on your approaches. If something’s working, keep moving in that direction. If something’s not working, change it up. Keep your eyes on that prize.

The name of the game is persistence. As the philosopher Steve Martin once said, “Perseverance is a great substitute for talent.” Be stubborn about that vision. And remember, in order to survive the inevitable struggles on the way, stay flexible on the details too.

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