Tag Archives: leadership

Which game are you playing

There are two games you can plan; the short game and the long game.  The short game can be exciting with many big wins, instant rewards and cheers from the peanut gallery.  The long game can often be tedious, the rewards are delayed and it is often played alone.

The short game is frequently either transactional (I’ll do this for you and you do something for me) or reliant on authority or hierarchy.  The long game is more frequently based on relationships and mutual respect.

It is true that the short game can frequently get quicker or even better results . . . . . . in the short term.  It is also true that the short game can require less effort . . . . . . on a per project basis.  The long term, on the other hand, requires more effort in the moment but the pay off in the long run is greater.

Think of a situation where you an employee hasn’t done all of his work.  A short game would be to order the employee to get it done, maybe including a sharp word or warning.   In the future, you are going to have to watch the employee’s work harder.  The long game is to understand why that employee didn’t do the work and to identify any larger issues.  Then, in the long game, partner with the employee to develop processes to ensure the work gets done right and in a timely basis.  In the long game, the employee is more likely to work harder and better in the future and you are less likely to keep looking over the employee’s shoulder.