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In a professional setting, priority always tends to be towards doing the right thing over doing things right. This state of mind can sometimes lead an employee down the wrong road – if you do the right thing, but you do not do it right, failure is a very real possibility. Looking at the other end of the spectrum, if you choose to do something right, but it is not the right thing to do, this may also end in failure. In many ways then, ensuring that attention to both ends of this spectrum is maintained, will lead to the most successful outcome. This way of approaching situation essentially involves two types of thinking: strategic and tactical. Strategic thinkers tend to be more involved in doing the right things and visualize situations from more of a leadership perspective.
The issue with being a purely strategic thinker and thus only doing the right things, is that these people tend to analyze the scenario but often fail to take the necessary action. For example, a company could be tasked with completing a building design for a client, a strategic thinker will approach this task as a leader, and although they have the right assets to utilize for completion of this job, they may not implement their assets in a manner that allows the company to finish the job on time and on budget. Therefore, it is important that strategic thinkers always maintain a sense of urgency, as lack of action can result in lost time and money for the company that he or she works for. Tactical thinkers, on the other hand, believe that doing things right is the correct way to approach situations and tend to see them from a managerial point of view. The issue with being solely a tactical thinker is that these people often focus all their energy on completing the task at hand, rather than thinking about the outcome. For example, if a consulting company is looking to find new clients, a strategic thinker may suggest adopting the cold-calling method of finding new clients. Although this may lead to some potential clients in the future, sometimes this is not a method that is extremely effective in a practical setting – hence, this method of finding new clients shows that doing things right thing is not always the most effective. Therefore, usually the action is not effective and sometimes even unnecessary, which could have easily been avoided if they had analyzed the situation before springing into action.
In conclusion, to be successful in a professional environment, both the strategic and tactical methods of thinking need to be implemented. Strategic thinkers tend to do the right things but fail to take action where tactical thinkers will do things right, but sometimes fail to see the big picture. If both ways of thinking are combined, the employee, and ultimately the company he or she works for, will be the most successful.
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