Two men are walking towards each other. The first guy thinks “That guy needs to step away from my path”. The other guy thinks “Looks like I need to step aside.” No conflict. The other guy steps aside, goes work and lives happily ever after making games.
The other man continues walking on his path. His philosophy is that he will never step aside, because it’s a question of principle. He knows that tough guys won’t step aside. He encounters many people on his path, but manages to make others step away from his path.
Until one day.
He encounters equally stubborn man – and they both stop walking. Neither one steps aside. It’s a question of principle. Both of them wasted time, grew a very long beard and felt really bad for the rest of their lives.
Do you know leaders like that?
Do you know people like those in the story. I’ve met some – actually quite very – who are “stepping aside” when needed. They are not avoiding everything. They will negotiate when needed, but they won’t get stuck or waste time because of stupid principles.
Then I know some people who waste great amount of time because they just don’t know when it’s good time to be flexible, and good time to be strict. They think being strict always is the best strategy (and to be honest, I also personally sometimes have this problem in certain situations. For example, sometimes I cannot stand waiting just a few minutes…).
The problem with being strict always is that it’s not a flexible strategy. It will get you stuck. It will mean wasted time on small details that have no real value compared to bigger objectives. It might mean you get stuck on doing timetables in a certain way when in reality you should be focused on working the project. It might mean that you don’t get the right talent in your team, because he might be doing work in different way than you expect.
Being stubborn is not a good strategy. Not for anyone who wants to make progress.