By Glen J. Dalakian, Sr.
Strategic and Tactical View
All business owners have a “tactical” view of their companies as they work day in and day out in the proverbial trenches. If you started the company, you know firsthand what it takes to get the job done. This is critical and most helpful, especially in the days ahead as you expand. Many times, I have been able, with confidence and determination, to either step in where needed or assist and/or empathize with an employee doing a task that he/she doesn’t realize I originally did to get the company off the ground.
But even though we may understand very well the necessary day-to-day efforts and the work at hand, this is only a “tactical” view, much like what a soldier sees on the battlefield. This is a very limited perspective. It’s the big-picture or the “strategic” view that is needed to win the war, and this is where leadership comes in. Yes, it’s important for the general to know what is happening on the front lines in the trenches, but he must encompass the greater struggle to see where to move his resources in order to have a decisive over-all victory. Keep in mind that you, as an entrepreneur, are the only one who could/should handle this high-level task.
“Working smarter, not harder” should be a mantra for any entrepreneur. Believe it or not, even if the lone-wolf approach has worked thus far, you will need help if you ever want your business to grow and have longevity. I often work long days Monday through Friday, but I will usually take a few hours on Saturday to look back and see where we have been and plan where we are going. This is the “strategic” view that provides a distinct advantage. Some companies (depending on size and direction) may need to take time every day for the “30,000-foot view” and some may only require an occasional high-altitude evaluation. Looking from both vantage points, “tactical” and “strategic,” is of great importance to your future success.
Many of us have heard “If you fail to plan, you have planned to fail.” To take a position for a “strategic” view, here are a few initial questions that may help you get in the right frame of mind:
Is the business on course with the long-term goals I have in mind?
Am I doing the work that is most important to the business at this time?
Have I identified the next position I need to fill/create to help achieve the goals of the company?
Have I asked for help from a mentor for an outside perspective of my progress?
Is there something more that I want (time, money, etc.) from my business efforts?
Work on the answers to the above and you will be in the “strategic planning” stage of your organization. You may surprise yourself with exciting new ideas and perhaps even rekindle dreams when you think beyond the “tactical” view. This can only be good for you and your enterprise.