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Stubbornness in Business


stuhb-ern ]


  • unreasonably obstinate; obstinately unmoving: a stubborn child.
  • fixed or set in purpose or opinion; resolute: a stubborn opponent of foreign aid.
  • obstinately maintained, as a course of action:a stubborn resistance.
  • difficult to manage or suppress: a stubborn horse; a stubborn pain.
  • hard, tough, or stiff, as stone or wood; difficult to shape or work.



As you can see from the definition of stubbornness from above, stubbornness doesn’t have the best reputation. Usually, people tend to think of stubbornness as a bad trait. And for a good reason.

Being stubborn is rarely viewed as a good thing, despite the potential advantages it brings for your business career.

Stubbornness in Business

Business leaders and entrepreneurs need to be aware that stubbornness is both beneficial and detrimental in business.

Stubbornness as a Benefit

  • Stubbornness is good because it encourages decisiveness. As a boss or an entrepreneur, you need to make decisions on the spur of the moment. Jeff Bezos often says it’s essential to make 100% of the choices with only 75% of the information.

If you wait too long, then you might miss out on a potentially golden opportunity to make money and advance your business.

  • When you’re stubborn, you don’t quit – which is a good thing. Entrepreneurs who stubbornly persist and doggedly persevere are better equipped for success.
  • If you’re stubborn, you question things. Stubbornness leads you to believe there’s a better way – namely yours.

When you insist on questioning the way things presently are, you often discover excellent innovative opportunities and revolutionary ideas and solutions.

  • Stubborn people are not swayed by the crowd. When you’re stubborn, you’re less likely to follow the crowd blindly. You’re more likely to think up creative ways to move forward – and follow your heart.

Stubbornness as a Detriment

  • You doggedly pursue an idea. Or insist on making your point, even when you know you’re wrong.
  • You do something you want to do, even if no one else wants to do it.
  • When others present an idea, you tend to point out all the reasons it won’t work.
  • You visibly feel anger, frustration, and impatience when others try to persuade you of something you don’t agree with.
  • You agree to or commit halfheartedly to others’ requests when you know all along that you’re going to do something entirely different.

Managing Stubbornness

We all have a mixture of the benefits and detriments of stubbornness. 

Here are several thoughts on managing your stubbornness.

  1. Seek to understand:Simply put, try listening to the other person. Rather than automatically shutting down the conversation, seek to understand their idea and rationale.
  2. Be open to possibilities: Overly stubborn people often believe that there is only one viable course of action—theirs. By approaching a situation with an openness to at least explore other alternatives, you show some flexibility — even if you ultimately end up right back where you started.
  3. Admit when you’re wrong: Being convinced that you’re right is one thing. Digging your heels in when you know that you’re wrong is inexcusable.
  4. Decide what you can live with: Being overly stubborn can become a habit. And while staying true to your personality is admirable, not every situation warrants that type of steadfast conviction. Rather than always pushing for your idea, decision, or plan, recognize when it’s okay to go with a decision that you can live with even if it’s not your top choice.

The Bible

“Stubborn as a mule” is a well-known idiom. The Bible actually mentions mules concerning their stubbornness in Psalm 32:9:

“Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle.”

When it comes to following God’s commands, we should not be stubborn or obstinate or intractable. We must not turn our heads away and stiffen our neck.  We need to learn to yield and be pliable in His hands.

The same is true in business.  Our goal is to be successful in our business affairs, and God has placed others on this journey with us to provide advice, counseling, and ideas that are not our own.  While we need to stubbornly pursue success, we need not be stubborn about where good ideas come from.