When is dogged pursuit of a goal a good thing? In most workplaces today, initiative is encouraged. But knowing whether your ambition has hit a yellow light or a police barricade can be tricky.
It is time for Clinton to do something she is not wired to do: yield the nomination to Sen. Barack Obama, the candidate with the best chance to win and unify Democrats. Clinton is not campaigning to be the Energizer Bunny, which, against all odds, keeps mechanically bobbing forward and backward because, darn it, the batteries still work. She has talked in recent days about being a fighter. Fighters may never give in, but sophisticated leaders do.
Also drawing criticism, for the opposite reason, is Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who this weekend announced the end of his company's bid to buy Yahoo. A New York Times story headlined "How Not to Make a Deal" said of Ballmer: "He took his ball and went home."
But most of all, Mr. Ballmer didn't realize—though he had been warned by his advisers—that when you make a blockbuster unsolicited offer, you must be prepared to win. Not necessarily win at any cost, but win at a cost within reason.
So how do you know when to pull back or push forward? For that, we can turn to Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett for his sage words on the Yahoo deal:
"I think [Ballmer] may have decided he simply had gone as far as he could go. You do have to have some sort of a limit," he noted. "You can want something badly, but it's not worth any price to the buyer. I don't know that much about Yahoo, so I don't know where his choking point would be, but he evidently hit it. And if you hit your choking point, you quit."