Improve your strategic thinking

Don’t be reactive, be strategic about your life. But like everything in life you’re not born natural, you need work to develop the skill. Stop chasing leaves, you may work hard and be busy, it may be your passion but it does not mean that you’re productive. Ultimately you would have failed at the game of life. Without strategic mind any breeze may take remove you out of your course. You don’t have to read every single book about warfare but The art of war By Sun Tzu may be a good start.

Avoid tactical hell. Avoid being reactive to other people impulses, demands, and needs that originated from emotion rather than logic. Otherwise you will find yourself in an endless succession of battles. With objectivity you gain detachment from the battlefield and gain global vision, you get to see the bigger picture.

Plan all the way to the end. Envision the end result and reverse engineer the way to the desired finish line. You need to fully visualize the objective before you start with the action.

Think long term. People and companies are myopic about the future. They are forced to give results quarterly hurting in many cases the long term perspectives.

Think what can go wrong. That comes from stoicism. Visualize failure in advanced so you can avoid and/or prepare for it before it happens. You can mitigate the problems before they occur.

Don’t get caught off guard. Related to the previous point, anyone worthy to be named strategist shall think about all possible paths and possible perturbations of the master plan. Be ready for whatever comes your way.

Have cooling periodes for ideas. When you have an idea let it cool down. Sometimes we get caught up with the excitement of the moment and we cannot see all the reasons why it is a bad idea. If you reflect over an idea over a period of time you will gain perspective and see things differently.

Take the indirect way. Don’t go through the most obvious path because everyone is taking it (or in case of war it will offer the most resistance). Instead find a way to surprise, find a back door. Usually back doors offer the least resistance and the maximum reward. The smart move is to find the weakest flank and go through there. You will have higher chances of success and less casualties.

Everything adds up. The good and the bad become bigger piles if grouped accordingly. Skipping one gym day may not seem a big deal (and it is not) the problem starts when it becomes a recurrent event. But penny to penny you can also build a fortune. Be wise about it.

“Dress me slowly, I’m in a hurry”  Napoleon said. Sometimes it is better to make it right the first time, than attempt it multiple times without much success. Doing work deliberately avoids future course corrections and fixing along the way.

Avoid competition. Peter Thiel is all in for creating monopolies. As he states it competition is for losers.

Search for feedback. Other people’s complains will help you to fix the mistakes and keep improving. Leave your ego home and get better every day.

Start systems do not set goals. System creates the steps necessary to get you where you want to be. These structures will prevent you from drifting. Thus moving you to your long term goal.

Choose your strategy and stick to it. Don’t copy a competitor’s one. You’re not on their shoes, things are different and everyone has to play their own cards. Each of us gets and exam but everyone has different questions, so copying your neighbour’s will cause more harm than good.

Be ready to loose. As Nassim Taleb states it, you should be ready to loose money for long term in order to win in that one only unforeseen black swan event. Don’t get distracted by the short term.

Long term is “what” not “how”. Once you have defined the long term strategy you can define the process and put the systems in place to achieve it. Otherwise you will be pursuing the wrong goal.

Deal with the problems as soon as possible. Problems when not addressed accordingly grow overtime. By themselves of by collateral damage. Don’t create a monster if you can put off the fire early on.

Use their energy against them. The first lesson in the martial arts is use your enemy’s energy against them.

Prioritise. First important-urgent, then urgent, then important, and the not urgent not important delete it.

Time puts everyone in their place. Sometimes makes more sense to wait for things to fall in their place. If an army does not have supplies it makes no sense to fight it directly but to wait it to fade away.

Morale is a multiplier. If people are happy, well rested and optimistic about things their productivity sky rockets. High moral is a force multiplier for the common goal.

 

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