Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Strong Leaders Blend Tactics into Strategy

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Strong Leaders Blend Tactics into Strategy

Article excerpt

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." This quote by ancient Chinese military general Sun Tzu - the author of "The Art of War" - sums up the need to be able to balance strategy with tactics to find success. Whether it is in military planning or on a chess board, in sports or in business, it is critical to be both strategic and tactical as a manager or coach.

A strategy is a plan that is designed to achieve an overall vision. Strategy is needed to start planning, as it creates the overall mission of what is trying to be accomplished.

Whether is the mission of an organization, or the initial planning for how to take on an opponent, strategy will set what direction the team will follow.

The tactics are the decisions that implement that strategy.

The idea of "strategic thinking" is something that every organization is looking for from their leadership. It is important to be task-oriented and to be able to put in the work to be successful. But some leaders spin their wheels trying to do each and every job, rather than focus on creating the plan or strategy for the rest of their organization to carry more strategic?

Paul J. H. Schoemaker wrote an excellent article in Inc. magazine recently about the habits of true strategic thinkers and how they seek solutions.

Strategic leaders anticipate: I tell our University of Evansville soccer players that the reason the windshield in your car is significantly larger than your rearview mirror is because what's in front of you is significantly more important than what you've passed.

Learn from what you've done wrong the previous match. But rather than dwell on past mistakes, forecast how to use those mistakes to make you better in the future. This will also help in focusing on improving rather than looking for a quick fix.

Conversely, you can't get complacent when you find success in your rearview mirror. You need to be able to anticipate new trends that can help you grow and find future success. …

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