Are You Playing The Long Game?

If you have spent any amount of time in my circle, you’ve definitely heard me say, “play the long game.” This perspective is one I truly believe in and will go to my grave defending! I think it is so important. Let me tell you why.

Playing the long game means that you are looking down the field toward your goal, while also taking action now which will set you up well for the future. In our hyper-productive, hyper-fast world it’s easy to get distracted on the short game, feeling stressed and pressured to just win the day. But here’s the deal – I won’t win every day. 

Now that I can admit that I won’t win every day (shoot, I may not even win for the week) I am freed up to focus on what really matters. For me, it’s all about building a remarkable company. I prioritize people over profits and process over end result. When I do this, I’m happier and less stressed, and my team continues to outperform in our shared goals. Building a remarkable company does not require us to win every single day– it requires us to win the long game. If you want to play the long game, try taking your focus off of the trivial and ask yourself what your end goal requires. Below are a few examples of the differences between the short game and the long game perspectives.

In our careers the short game looks like:

  • Taking the promotion for the money only
  • Taking the first job offer you get
  • Using your network only for job opportunities
  • Taking more than giving

Play the long game and you will:

  • Take a new role that offers you challenging growth opportunities
  • Wait for the right job at the right time
  • Cultivate a network
  • Give more than take

How can you play the long game in your life? Is there a short term decision you’re about to make that won’t actually serve you well in the long term? Playing the long game is a lesson in delayed gratification. How will you play the long game in your career?

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