April 13, 2024

Playing the Long Game

What is “the long game?”

Simply put, to care about the long game is to be willing to forsake immediate results for better long-term progress. It requires patience.

The Long Game Is Everything

For most of my life, I’ve played the short game– whatever is right in front of me, the tasks that I have, and the decisions I need to make now. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t done some things that one should do for a long game, like having a family or a 401k plan. It means that I didn’t know totally the way that I was going.

I think this came most into focus talking to a previous boss who seemingly had his whole life mapped out. He was going to continue in his current job for a few more years, then go into the medical realm and attempt to do more traveling. He had his whole life mapped out, whereas I was just wondering how long I’d be in the present job.

In companies, we come up with visions, mission statements, and plans, not because it’s busy work (though at times it feels like it) but because we are on a trip to go somewhere. We want to get somewhere in the end.

Like a mother that spends time in the kitchen with her children knowing that they will continually waste food and get things wrong, but eventually will be helpful partners, we should all have a plan and know the next steps and how to get there. We should be applying what we know so that we can play the long game.

This has the added advantage of having everyone working toward the same goal and issues that come up being minimized because it doesn’t hurt the mission.

So, how about you– do you have a family or personal mission or goal? How is your progress?

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