The Noise Before Defeat…

San Tzu, a very successful (and now famous) military strategist had this to say about your business…

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

That sound you’re hearing…it’s not success, victory or anything glorious…it’s defeat, failure – IF, like most businesses you fail to be strategic. Tactical is good and always will be, It will take care of today’s necessities and pay a few bills, it will impress your girl friend and it might even make you a truck load of money for a while – but it will never last and it will never build a great business – just a short-term cash cow (maybe).

Now I’ve written about the difference between strategy and tactics before and it’s absolutely vital.

If your daily agenda is all about today, then you are being tactical (can you hear the noise?). If your daily agenda is about what you can action today to ensure maximum benefit tomorrow, then you are a rare breed – a strategist.

Now your wife or hubby may not like the strategic approach…it takes longer to shine, it seems too far out and it’s hard for an onlooker to measure your progress, often it’s less gratifying in the now  – do it anyway.

Being tactical and not strategic is also one of the reasons why Wealth is rarely passed on to the next generation especially in Africa.  Everyone is so concerned with amassing riches for themselves today. It’s not that they DON’T CARE about their children, it’s just that their ‘tomorrow muscles’ aren’t very strong.  It’s harder. Do it anyway.

A big part of why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is it’s a lot easier for a rich man to think, plan and act long-term than for a poor man worried about dinner tonight. Do it anyway.

I’m not saying ignore today, that’s crazy, I’m saying make sure your  today is about a lot more than just today.

It’s about

  • the way and the kind of relationships you build
  • the way you treat your clients
  • the books you read
  • the way you spend your money
  • the way you invest your time
  • the words you let come out of your mouth

“Tomorrow” is a scary word for some because it brings up horrible ideas like the need for training, learning, sacrifice, investing and yes, strategy.  It means having to say no to all those urgent but unimportant activities and doing stuff that will only pay off 10 years from today. Do it anyway

Don’t steal from your tomorrow for ease or luxury today. Don’t sacrifice the best tomorrow to get something good today.It may be fun and exciting, it may sound like celebration and party, but really, it’s just the noise before defeat.

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