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Strategy’s long-run success and short-run peace

This reces­sion had com­pa­nies tight­en­ing up and try­ing to make short-term adjust­ments in order to just make it through. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, that approach doesn’t get you long-term suc­cess. Heck, it doesn’t even get you short-term peace. That’s because oppor­tunism is being used to replace strat­e­gy.

Here’s what I mean: being oppor­tunis­tic is good when there are a bunch of oppor­tu­ni­ties, like when the mar­ket is good. It’s also good when a good strat­e­gy has come to fruition and has arranged for oppor­tu­ni­ties. Then you have to take advan­tage.

But when things are tough and oppor­tu­ni­ties are rare, you need strat­e­gy to uncov­er oppor­tu­ni­ties and set you up. It takes a lit­tle more time, but a good, focused strat­e­gy makes it eas­i­er to both find oppor­tu­ni­ties and take advan­tage of them.

So, whether you’re look­ing for a job or you’re a com­pa­ny look­ing for oppor­tu­ni­ty, it might be best to slow down and think about where your real strengths are and make a plan to help the mar­ket to make the best use of them. Give it some time and go through a SWOT analy­sis a few times.

Mak­ing a plan gives you the promise of long-term suc­cess and short-term peace. And you might be sur­prised by the con­fi­dence it gives you in the mean time. And who couldn’t use a lit­tle con­fi­dent swag­ger these days?

Because, in the end, what does it mat­ter where you are tomor­row if you’re where you want to be in 3 to 6 months?