It’s hard to think long-term
There are more variables to consider, more players to factor in, and more potential for things to go in different directions as your team moves forward. Not to mention, if you commit to a long-term strategy, you might block yourself out of a future option that has not yet opened up on your radar.
But just like someone has to manage the big picture in your organization, someone has to think about the long-term plans and goals for your team.
Why you need to think long-term, even though it’s hard
1. The urgent will always overpower the important in the short-term. What you see in front of you will clamor for your attention to be accomplished and completed quickly before the impending deadline at the end of the week, or worse, the end of the day. Important things take time and will usually become urgent only when it’s too late to do them well.
2. Three hundred and sixty five days lived one at a time will result in the accomplishment of very little. A year long-term goal set, established, and chopped into 12, 100, or even 365 pieces will be much more likely completed.
3. If you establish a larger focus, small decisions are more easily made. When I know that my kids are more important than material success, I don’t even have to think about whether I take one more client meeting and miss my kids soccer game. Think long-term about your priorities and goals for life.
Think even longer-term
A friend shared with me this quote from Bill Gates that I thought encapsulated this perfectly:
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
Long-term isn’t just a year versus a day. It’s a decade versus a year. It’s an eighty year lifetime versus a decade. It’s thinking generations rather than just for your own lifetime.