Don't confuse strategy and tactics (also, I'm terrible at chess)

Posted on Aug 8, 2019
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There is a strategic and a tactical side of every fight, every battle, everything that you do. Where am I going to place my people? When am I going to push? Who forward where to pull out the enemies x versus y so that I can then dominate when I want to. It has everything to do with data. It has everything to do with experience and has very little to do with combat skill. Chess was designed to take the physical ability out of battle and train strategists to be able to deploy the correct forces of the right amount of forces at the right time. Now again, I am a terrible, terrible strategist when it comes to chess. And as you can probably already see, I’m losing this game and I’m, I remember what about five moves in a, I’m gonna move some pieces. It also doesn’t help that I’m distracted because I am, uh, trying to play this game while I’m making a video.

Now the important thing to understand from a business perspective is the difference between tactics and strategies has to do with scope. Okay, so in this game of chess, the scope is I need to take out the king of the opponent, opposing player. Now I can do that by deploying several strategies at once, but we understand is that the, there’s an overarching goal here. I’m trying to use what I have at my disposal to take out this guy here. Now there’s a difference between using all of this and creating an overall strategy to take him out and deciding, I’m going to use this guy to take out this guy. Right? There’s a huge difference between those two because strategically I need to be able to not only know what I’m going to do, but know how my opponent is going to react and how then I’m going to react to their reaction and you have to understand there are millions of different permutations of what could possibly happen from a tactical level.

You don’t have to worry about all that stuff. All I’m trying to do is figure out the best way for me to get this guy to take this guy. Sometimes that’s just as simple as moving straight at it. Sometimes that’s a simple distraction in one direction, getting the Queens to pay attention to each other, so now I can just take this guy in the same way. In business, we go to conferences all the time and people from stage, we’ll talk about strategies and tactics and they’ll conflate the two. They’ll, they’ll talk about them as though that the same thing when in reality they’re not. Let’s say for example, that you make this board, right? You make, you may or you, let’s say you make these pieces the, the the chess pieces, right? And you want to sell these chess pieces. Well, you could just go to market, run a Facebook ad and say, I, we sell chess pieces, and then go broad and try and figure out who your target market is.

Or You could bring in a strategist who already knows who’s most likely to buy these, what they may come in and say as you can sell these to these xyz distributors for costs or just below cost or just above cost, whatever, for x number of months until you run out of your runway capital. But you can afford to do that because it’ll give you enough market share so that when you start to raise your prices, you’ll actually make a profit over the course of the next five years. Right? Longterm thinking. That’s the strategy. Now the tactics are going to be much different. Who’s going to go and actually talk to the distributor that you’re going to sell these two. That’s a tactical decision. What methods are they going to deploy to actually get the distributor to buy these from you versus somebody else? Tactical decision.

Now once you actually go to market and you start bringing it to the consumers, what are you going to deploy from a psychological standpoint in your ads, in your marketing and your followup, whatever, to get them to buy from you versus somebody else? Tactical decision. The strategy is we need to go after these people. These people are most likely to buy. This is how much money we have, this how much runway we have and these are the things that we’re going to do moving forward. So I think it’s important that when you go to a higher resources and talent that are counting and come in and help you in your business, that you understand the difference between the strategic help and the tactical help. Most of the time, what I have found, most business owners that are the most successful are the ones who understand their own strategy.

They don’t hire out the strategy. They know what they’re trying to do and they know what they need in order to make that happen. They may not have the best ability to go and actually get this in the hands of the consumer, but they know what needs to happen. Another important piece of this is that when you bring in somebody to perform a tactical operation, say set up a Facebook ad or create a marketing followup campaign or create a promotional video, something like that, you don’t want somebody who is so wrapped up in the overall strategy that they’re not able to perform. In a tactical sense, nobody can do both at the same time. You’re not going to be capable of of really comprehending the overall strategy and executing a tactical operation at the same time because the two are separate. You’re not gonna be able to do both.

So what I recommend is that business owners a determine their own strategy and then give specific measurable tasks to outside help bring people in for the tactical. And you handle the strategic on your room. When you bring in somebody, make sure that they know and you know whether they’re there to help you with strategy or with a tactical operation. But if you make somebody responsible for and in charge of both the strategic angle and the tactical execution, you’re going to end up with half built bridges on both sides. Make sure that from a business perspective, you are approaching the tactical and the strategic from different angles. Don’t hold your tacticians, your operations responsible for strategic decisions. Hold yourself responsible for strategic decisions. Whether or not x strategy works is on you. It’s not on the tactician.

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