Ken Kaufman's picture

Short vs. Long-Term Results: How Do You Prioritize?

Whichever you are more focused on means you are likely neglecting the other.

I am suggesting that an appropriate balance needs to exist between the two. It is not easy to balance, and once balance is achieved it will be fragile, sometimes swinging back forth on the pendulum several times daily.
Example: If you are losing money today, focused on how all of those losses are an amazing investment into your long-term future success, then you are likely neglecting some things you could do to improve your short-term performance and results over the next 3-6 months. How quick we can be to rationalize our long-term aspirations and neglect short-term "wins".
Example: If you are dialed-in on hitting your target this quarter with a laser-like focus, you are likely neglecting and potentially comprising your long-term prospects to maximize success.
What behavior does your corporate culture reward the most? Do you even try to maintain a balance between the two?
Here is a quick gut check. Make an honest, transparent investigation into your recent track record. If you always miss (or even fail to establish) short-term goals with the excuse that you will make up for it in the long-term, then you are likely a little too visionary and not tactically addressing short-term opportunities adequately. On the other hand, if you are always hitting your short-term goals but complain that you can never get to or complete your long-term projects, you are possibly sacrificing your future.
The key is to find the right balance and then discipline your organization to constantly evaluate and make adjustments as you go throughout each day, week, and month to stay on track with both. A good leader will sense when short and long term focus is out of balance and get things back on track. No easy solution; just hard work, discipline, and leadership to create the best overall result.

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