Just Stubborn Enough

“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal. “
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Years ago, my buddy Srinivas and I launched what through many twists and turns he has now built into The Unmistakeable Creative – a podcast where Srini has conducted over 600 interviews with thought leaders and people from all walks of life.

Since then Srini has gone on to do some crazy things…including crazy successful things, like writing a Wall Street Journal bestseller, The Art of Being Unmistakable and his newest published book Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best

The fact that Srini has taken his talents so far is no accident though. The podcast series we originally launched together might have never been started, and certainly wouldn’t have the success it has had, if it wasn’t for one of us stepping up, and being just stubborn enough for us to succeed.

Srini Drives Me Nuts! (Just Kidding)

When we worked together, there could not have been an odder pairing of how Srinivas and I operated.

Srini throws out lots of ideas, is ever the optimist, and loves to initiate new projects, even while other projects are in their infancy,

Me?  I often try to look at things “realistically,” keep a level head, and work to refine ideas in progress one step at a time.

I remember when we worked together, Srini would take my feedback, thinks about it – and sometimes comes back with a new plan. Often, a better plan, and one that I agree with.

Other times though, he would come back doubly convinced he was still right, and that he was simply going to do it his way.

And you know what?

Neither of us was “wrong” – but Srini had a vision for what he wanted, and he wasn’t going to let me or anyone else change that.

Srini is just stubborn enough: he is willing to take criticism, to understand when he clearly needs to take feedback and change course.

But when it’s a judgment call, and a difference of vision and opinion – he doesn’t back down.

The Perfect Balance

Every great leader and entrepreneur is going to face these dilemmas.

Someone you know and trust is going to disagree with you and you’re going to have to decide: is this something where I’m mistaken, or is this a judgment call where it’s a different vision than what I’ve got?

It is a fine line to walk, and it’s not easy to get it right.

In your life, you can’t let your vision be diluted by committee.

If you can be just stubborn enough, you’ll be able to get the best of it all: incorporating accurate feedback so you don’t have blind spots…and being true to yourself when it’s just  someone trying to sway your opinions.

Don’t Be Unreasonable, But Don’t Be a Pushover

I think there’s a lesson here for all of us – we need to know when to cut our losses, and certainly we need to know when we’ve made a mistake and correct course.

On the other hand though, we can’t let ourselves give up a little too easily, get deflated when someone shoots down our ideas or completely back off and be unwilling to stand up for what we believe in at the first sign of resistance.

So I encourage you to take a lesson from my buddy Srini: don’t be unreasonable, and don’t be a pushover.

Be just stubborn enough.

Vision and Defining Moments

I also want to share with you a passage from Srini’s new book –Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best.

On page 41, he tells the story of how he launched the site after an email conversation we had.  I have to say…just reading it brings tears to my eyes and inspires me.

Thanks Srini for the wild ride, both while I was a part of it and now watching you take it farther than I could have imagined.

Though he is now a best-selling author, has launched a conference, and is a sought after speaker – reading his words I can still feel his drive and enthusiasm from years ago.  Here’s how he tells it:

“I knew deep down it was something I had to do.  I saw endless possibilities.

I had never acted so quickly or with so much enthusiasm toward anything in my life

The difference between following advice and acting on intuition is that with the latter you feel inwardly, deeply compelled to do something, while the former feels as though it’s being forced upon you.

I could have written off Sid’s advice as just another blogger on his soapbox, but I didn’t. I recognized the defining moment and trusted my intuition.  Doing so has opened up opportunities that I couldn’t have planned or prepared for, leading me to create unmistakable work.”
– Srinivas Rao,Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best

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