Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stubborn on Vision, flexible on details.

Read these words from a Forbes Interview with Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. 

Levy: You’ve also given $42 million to the Long Now Foundation for the development of a giant clock designed to last for 10,000 years. Does that project relate at all to what you’re doing at Amazon?

Bezos: It does fit into my view. Our first shareholder letter, in 1997, was entitled, “It’s all about the long term.” If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people. But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavors that you could never otherwise pursue. At Amazon we like things to work in five to seven years. We’re willing to plant seeds, let them grow—and we’re very stubborn. We say we’re stubborn on vision and flexible on details."

Reread those last few words, stubborn on vision, and flexible on details. They are so powerful. It's why, when we are looking at our lives, work and businesses, we need to spend so much time up front figuring out what our vision IS.

The Bible says, "A people without vision will perish.". I believe this pertains not just to churches (which is where the verse is most often used, but also to individuals, organizations and corporations.

A vision is based on ideas, big pictures, principle, not details. Often, we cripple our vision, doom it to failure because we get hung up on the details. We don't let God, The Universe, Karma, whatever you believe guides the universe work because we corral it into the details.

Think about it!

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