Tactical approaches can undermine useful strategies.
And knowing your goals and the reason for the game are the best way to avoid the problem.
Tactical thinking forces us to think in innings. It says, “here’s a situation, what’s your best reaction/response?”
The strategic approach has a different question, “Does playing this particular tactical game get me closer to the reason I’m here in the first place?”
Strategies don’t change. They’re not a secret. It doesn’t matter if your peers or opponents know your strategy.
Tactics, on the other hand, change often, and are usually best kept quiet.
So why do we get so hung up on tactics?
It begins with: Strategies can be frightening. If we say what we want and how we hope to achieve it, two things could happen: we could fail, and that would disappoint us, or we could succeed, and that would frighten us.
It’s easier to simply react by engaging in another tactical round that the world has presented to us. You can spend your days doing nothing but playing with tactics, and never realize you didn’t even have a strategy.
What do you want? What change do you seek to make, how do you want to spend your days? How will get you there?
Figuring out which games you aren’t going to play is a fine step on the road to figuring out your strategy.
Unrelated but timely: A post from 13 years ago about meetings, and my podcast from this week about the same topic.