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Your Life Needs Strategy and Tactics, Just Like Any Games

Your Life Needs Strategy and Tactics, Just Like Any Games
From Lifehack - November 21, 2017

Southwest Airlines has been around since 1966, and is generally considered one of the better airlines in the industry. While some airlines focus on big, potentially expensive amenities, Southwest focused its business model on cheaper flights and painless commuter-type flights for people who wanted to get from A to B with no fuss. Over time, Southwests business model has increasingly become the industry standard for airlines.1Southwest Airlines has been around since 1966, and is generally considered one of the better airlines in the industry. While some airlines focus on big, potentially expensive amenities, Southwest focused its business model on cheaper flights and painless commuter-type flights for people who wanted to get from A to B with no fuss. Over time, Southwests business model has increasingly become the industry standard for airlines.1

Southwests broader strategy was cheaper, easier-to-get flights. But strategy is meaningless without tactics. (Some call this execution.)

To get cheaper flights, they reduced flight attendants, changed flight models, limited carry-on baggage, and even changed the process of boarding.

Strategy is the what part of thinking about organizational mission: long-term goals. Tactics are the how part: the best practices, specific plans, milestones, resources, and generally how youll execute the overall strategy.

You need both in life.

The Art of War: Strategy vs Tactics

One of the most famous books ever written, The Art of War, has a quote along these lines:

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

That book was written more than 2,500 years ago. The context still applies, though. You need both strategy and tactics. You cant just long-term plan, and you cant just execute. Both ultimately end up nowhere.

Strategy and tactics are all over the business world these days. New books on business strategy seemingly come out every day, and the overall leadership industryoften teaching executives how to think about strategy and tacticsis somewhere around $44 billion.2

Think about some well-known strategies, for example:

Strategy Makes Things Clear

The pros are that having a strategy sets a clear goal and makes it easier to align the efforts of different partiesbecause the shared goal is the strategy. This ideally creates more long-term stability.

Unfortunately, strategy isnt easy to measure because its long-term (most businesses focus short-term) and it combines a number of different tactics (cross-departmental measurement can be hard). Strategy is also less flexible and its harder to make big, strategic decisions and changes. It usually requires a lot of time and input from multiple people, which can slow down a business as it attempts to innovate.

Tactics Make Things Concrete

When Strategy or Tactic Is Left Out

Making it Optimum: Strategy x Tactics

First, you need to understand purpose.

Then you need a scheduling component.

Finally, you need to understand how measurable results work.

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