Thought Provoking: Worried Doing the Right Things or Doing Things Right

May 23, 2021

As people, we are sometimes overwhelmed by the waves of doing the right things, and doing things right. It’s futile worrying about what you can’t really control, as general studies show that humans are either strategic or Tactical thinkers. These two mindsets are intertwined, and for the purpose of understanding, let’s say tactical thinkers are more about doing things right and strategic thinkers are more concerned about doing the right things…

I’m beyond any doubt, not a psychology expert(lol) but running a business requires making decisions, both small and big, with each compromise having a ripple effect on business. This is exactly what slams the dilemma of doing things right or doing the right things every day on my table and here’s how I handle it…

When it comes to planning, we all either knowingly or unknowingly fall into the belief that our way of thinking (Strategic or Tactical) is wiser, especially when we are conscious of our approach to solving problems. Over the years, there have been several arguments for and against doing the right things and doing things right but I believe to fully understand the effect these mannerisms have on the strength of our decisions and the consequences of those decisions, we must first consider these ideologies singularly, their similarities and disparities…

Strategic thinking

(Doing the right things)

Strategic thinkers tend to obsess about doing the right things, carefully assessing every detail before taking action. A strategic thinker wants every soldier on the field before he charges into the battle. Every piece should be set, every man’s rifle should be cocked. They tend to over analyse their decisions and strategies and in most cases never really take action, or enter action partially at best with the possibility of failure lingering heavily on their minds… “paralysis by analysis” is often their undoing.


Tactical thinking

(Doing things right)
Tactical thinkers are famous for never really thinking much before going into action, typically characterized by the need to ‘’take action’’, ‘’do something’’ a fearless and sometimes radical sense of taking action. Tactical thinkers are ready to charge with the available soldiers no matter the size. They’ll rather wait for reinforcement or in any case die on the field but never with the fear of failure on their mind. This on its own, is another flawed sense of thinking in the sense that actions that are not calculated are seldom ineffective, and even though there might be a great charge and stimulating battle cry, Sun Tzu says, this is usually the noise before the defeat.

Doing The Right thing VS Doing Things Right

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before the defeat” – Sun Tzu

The barefaced suspense between strategic and tactical thinking is seen in the statement, “Doing Things Right vs. Doing the Right Things.” Tactical thinkers tend to focus on “doing things right,” and strategic thinkers are concerned with “doing the right things.” But let’s consider that statement for just a moment. If you do something “right,” but it’s the wrong thing to do, your efforts will be futile.

Conversely, if you do the “right thing,” but you do it wrong, you’ll also fail miserably. I am not an ambassador for pitching doing the right things against doing things right, rather I believe both manners of approach should be appreciated individually and if coupled together can birth success.

Doing the right things is typically characterized as leadership, creating and inspiring a vision, in contrast doing things right can be assumed to be management, putting the goal into effect. Now tell me how one can do without the other?

Regardless of my approach, as a leader, I have learned to understand the other side of the coin and create a coexistence that is critical to success. Simply put; It’s critical to recognize when you are not applying both types of thinking to the situation because difficulties arise when one or the other, rather than both, is used to tackle a problem.

Consider this example, doing the right things goes into product conceptualization and development while a lot of doing things right goes into marketing and advertising. In marketing, there is NO right or wrongs to-do, several examples show that what marketers thought will float a product sank it and what advertising thought will sink the product floated it. Marketers understand there is no right or wrong, there is only doing whatever you’re doing right enough to gain attention and drive sales.
Business developers understand that products must solve a problem or supply a demand so whatever product is developed must be the right solution to a specific problem. In my opinion, strategic tactics for business development and marketing is often the mix for success.

The community we’re building at the CANs welcomes everyone, you CAN find it in our famous catchphrase, A place for those who CAN… Surrounded by the bright minds from different fields I get to interact with, I find it easier to make business decisions when I share opinions and ideas with changemakers here…So if you CAN do it right or you CAN do the right things, you’re definitely welcome to sit with us! No exceptions.

This is an expression of my thoughts, I’ll like to know what you think about the concepts of strategic & Tactical thinking and to what proportion you apply these styles to your daily business or personal-life decisions.

Posted in blog
Write a comment