Maintain Pressure

Intensity is the price of excellence. 
– Warren Buffett

In The Snowball, Buffett makes this statement many times. And author Alice Schroeder makes clear that price is paid two ways – by Buffett devoting almost every waking moment of the past 60 years to making money and by those who have to work with him. Buffett is compared to the sun – nice and warm from a distance but you don’t want to get too close.

While we don’t want to be at Buffett level, excellence requires intensity. And intensity can only be maintained in an pressurized environment. Even if someone has inner-drive, it is no good if no one else will work with that person. It is a blow to the ego to have mistakes pointed out and to have seemingly clever solutions rejected. Without pressure to tilt the playing field, excellence will be outnumbered and attacked by the lazy, egotistical, and jealous.

Without pressure, the cream does not rise to the top.

Power without responsibility causes corruption because without responsibility there is no pressure.

Sure, there must be time to relax and recharge. But don’t coast.


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