How to Combine Strategy and Tactics to Achieve Success


Are you having trouble thinking because of all the noise? Often we get so stuck in the noise of doing that our minds become so clouded and foggy that we no longer know why we are doing what are doing or understand if what we are doing has any positive bearing on achieving our goals.

An over-abundance of inputs such as our cell phone, emails, phone calls, knocks on our office doors, social media sites and in my case the noise of people in the gym combined with the overhead drone of satellite music without the time to process leads to an overbearing number of inputs, feelings of being overwhelmed and then a system crash (burnout). Setting aside time to review goals, strategy and tactics is important to achieving sustained success.

My friend recently posted the following philosophical and inspirational quote from Sun Tzu :

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

How often do you take time to review, goal set, evaluate tactics and strategize? Find time to turn off the inputs to figure out what outputs to need be met to achieve victory.

A strategy is the plan for achieving our goals, while tactics combines the art with skill of employing a available resources and are the means to accomplishing our goal. Firstly, Sun Tzu is implying that having a plan is only part of achieving our goals and reaching victory.

Secondly, it is important to clearly know what resources are available and understand how those resources can best be implemented to execute our plan. Victory is often assured by aligning our goals, strategy and tactics.

For example it makes absolutely no sense to have a great employee without knowing what they are best at, nor does it make sense to have a plan that doesn’t implement their strengths to help achieve business objectives. Tactics could also be financial resources – a fantastic marketing plan with all the bells and whistles could sound great, but the cash might not be available. Try adjusting the marketing strategy so that it still meets the business objectives while matching the available resources.

Victory is more likely to happen when there is plan, but Sun Tzu is saying that without adequate resources victory will be slow to arrive. On the other hand having all the best resources without a plan to implement them will in the end leave you confused and defeated by all the noise. There is also an art in knowing when to use the appropriate resource.

9 Steps to Victory: Align Goals, Strategy and Tactics

  1. Set the Goal – clearly define what is to be achieved.
  2. Evaluate and List – resources needed versus resources available
  3. Define the strategy to achieve the goals.
  4. Define the tactics to implement the plan.
  5. Set target interim dates and mini goals to evaluate progress towards achieving the goal.
  6. Adjust 1 – 4 as the situation changes, new resources become available or the environment changes.
  7. Figure out what you next action is. Do it.
  8. Repeat until the bigger goal has been achieved.
  9. Celebrate the Victory!

Each week take some time to unplug yourself from all the inputs to review your goals, measure your progress, re-evaluate and then adjust your strategy.

What do you do ensure victory? What do you do stop the noise and unplug?

Need some help with goal setting from high level to lower level next actions? Read David Allen’s 6 Horizon’s of Focus from Getting Things Done.

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