Strategy or Tactics?

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Let’s take a little quiz: Which of these are strategic ideas?

a.) “We need a website.”

b.) “Let’s put together some seminars.”

c.) “I will hire a publicist.”

d.) “I’m going to do four informational interviews or networking events a week.”

e.) None of the above

If  you answered e.), give yourself a gold star and take the rest of the afternoon off.

Because while many folks think a.) through d.) are strategic, they’re not. They’re what we call “tactics.”

Shall we discuss?

OK. Think of the difference this way – strategy is the big painting in a frame and tactics are the brushstrokes that make up the picture. Make sense?

It’s a sequence. And regardless of what you want to accomplish, here’s how the sequence needs to flow:

Vision –> Goals –> Strategy –> Tactics –> Action –> Evaluation –> [repeat cycle]

See? If you go right for tactics, you’re starting smackdab in midstream. And while it may feel satisfying to use your brush and put paint on the canvas, if you skip vision and strategy – what do you think your painting is going to end up looking like?

When you’re stuck in tactics-only hell: You spin your wheels. You throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks.You are sound and fury signifying nothing.

Nothing seems to change. The numbers start to look bad. More of the same old same old.

Your painting of a mountainscape looks more like a single duck. Or maybe it’s an owl. Or a skyscraper. Tilt your head to the right and it sort of looks like Great Aunt Myrtle…

Familiar yet?

So, to be efficient and really move toward something that hangs together, just follow these sequential steps:

Vision –> Goals –> Strategy –> Tactics –> Action –> Evaluation –> [repeat cycle]

Let’s define, class.

Vision is the Big Why. What do you want to do – and why do you want it?

Goals are markers along the way toward achieving the vision.

Strategy is the big picture plan how to accomplish the goals.

Tactics are specific paths and choices to support the strategy.

Action is the doing  part.

Evaluation is checking to see that your strategy and tactics are working so you can revise and adapt as necessary.

Darlings, to be efficient – in terms of time, effort and money – any successful campaign/business/launch/effort/masterpiece must follow this same sequence:

Vision –> Goals –> Strategy –> Tactics –> Action –> Evaluation –> [repeat cycle]

As tempting as it is, if you want to really accomplish something don’t just start slopping paint around willy-nilly. Take a moment (or two) to get yourself in alignment with your vision, then start your doing.

Because I want you to be able to answer e.) to this set of answers when your masterpiece is completed:

a.) This is awesome

b.) It looks just like I thought it would

c.) Can you believe this success?

d.) I had no idea it was this easy!

e.) All of the above