Strategy Vs. Tactics

I recently came across a few books that I had bought and read a few years ago.  As I age it amazes me time and time again how perspective changes based on the lives we lead and the information we come across.

Strategy used to be studied…and honored

These books were “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi’s Art of Strategy manuscript “The Five Rings,” and “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli.  I’d always thought that what I was doing in life was using a strategy to get where I wanted to go.

Never in my life had I ever used a strategy other than college, of which only 27 percent of first year grads actually get a job related to their major.  I had never been informed of any other strategy than go to college or get lucky somehow.  As I began to do more digging, eventually buying the aforementioned manuscripts, I STILL unknowingly applied strategy information only to tactics.

Inconsistent definitions

If you look into the definitions of strategy versus the definition of tactics you’ll find some discrepancies that just don’t seem to add up.  So let’s scrap that.  Strategy is the total plan for achieving a goal that includes various tactics.  One cannot achieve complete dominant success using tactics alone, while a strategy with lackluster tactics will always produce lackluster results.  Let’s look at the following examples to establish a clear distinction.  The definition we will use for adult is one who is completely capable of surviving on their own with no assistance from anyone.

Example #1: Strategy for Being an Adult(the option most of us are familiar with)

Well this strategy does imply that life was indeed forced upon us by two adults mating furiously to produce us.

Now that we are living beings, we have ZERO control over our life, until we hopefully graduate high school and are able to pay for college on our own.  We cannot choose where to live, how to believe, what friends to have, or if we even want to go to school until we become an adult.  This is where a couple of other cards in the ‘adulting’ strategy book can be played.  1) Be good enough at something in said ‘school’ that one is fortunate enough to have his or her path to adulthood paid for in full.  2) Enlist in the military.  3) Be just enough of a rebel and have enough wits about you to create and innovate without prior knowledge or resources, but just enough guts and intelligence(problem solving capabilities).

Granted, most take the first path of school and workforce, as there are so few innovators between us(not that we aren’t capable, most of us are just blindsided by this whole ‘why am I here’ question from age five and up) that we never get the chance to learn from them unless we watch an interview or pay heinous amounts of cash to learn from one, usually after college.   There’s four total tactics known to the typical eighteen year old regarding strategy for life on Earth.  Three are known and the fourth hits randomly or runs in the ‘family.’  Now that we understand one strategy let’s look at one more specific strategy plan before we conclude.

Example #2: Strategy for Becoming a Life Coach

For this strategy I will try to do just a simple list of tactics that would help one typically be able to sell genuinely helpful services as a life coach.  Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments.

  1.  Live a life that’s taught you the value of life. (Subjective? Sure, but necessary for sustained and healthy client involvement over time)
  2. Learn.  Learn about the art of coaching, and learn how your individual talents can help others through the art of coaching.
  3. If you make it through the first two, now one must gather credibility.  Whether through university, online classes or some other means, one must establish that they indeed are a master of the art of coaching.
  4. After proving success, one can then market themselves as available for service, however this includes a strategy within a strategy in regards to audience choice, marketing, advertising, business plan, location, etc.
  5. Be the best life coach one can be. (If you’ve made it here, you’re awesome and the world needs more people like you willing to chase their dreams.

Strategy Vs. Tactics

In conclusion, it’s imperative that one understands no matter how many tactics they imply, without a strategy surrounding those tactics, they imitate bandits waiting in ambush, that have to wait in ambush day after day to make a living.

Tactics must be studied to perfection, just as each of the above authors has written.  To them, strategy was to be studied as closely as any subject, especially by those in power.  Power really in essence is control, and if one cannot control their own life, they are powerless.  To begin, a goal must be named, along with a strategy including some proven and some unorthodox tactics for victory.  All situations must be thoroughly considered for tactics to deliver victories in their various areas.  If all tactics achieve victory, the strategy will always result in success.

Good luck.


Published by James Taylor

Dedicated to changing the world by changing myself. Actions speak louder than words and the mind is the battlefield through which all wars are won. It cannot happen outside before it happens inside. What you believe, you can achieve.

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