How to Strategize for Success

scientist and engineer

As I told you, I play computer games. What I am going to share with you today is a very simplified and applied version of some concepts I work with, that I learned playing Real Time Strategy games, in particular Starcraft and Starcraft II.

Yes, it is very useful, very applied knowledge. The kind managers use to run their businesses and you could use to optimize your success in life.

See, most people never think of what it means to be a long term strategist or a short term tactician, how those two work together, how they shape your life and the life of others, and how you could use them to get the life you’ve always wanted.

So let’s make a bit of light here, shall we? I hope you enjoy this and find it useful in your own life. If you like it, or if it helps you in any way, write to me on Facebook or here to tell me how all of this worked for you or for your business.

  • If you want to focus on the STRATEGY – GET EASY OPPONENTS.
    • This allows you to have more energy to figure out what your strategy is all about and how you can improve the strategy itself, at its core. Since no energy is devoted to the actual execution of it, the strategy itself will be much more finely tuned, cause you have the necessary time to investigate it at its core, instead of worrying about how you will put that into practice
  • If you HAVE HEAVY OPPOSITION – Focus on the Execution
    • Viable Success requires 2 components: Strategy (Macro) and Execution (Micro). You don’t really get much in the way of in-field execution experience in easy environmental conditions. It’s like wanting to be a mountain climber, but always just climbing trees instead of actual mountains. The heavier the opposition you face, the more you directly see the pressure points where your strategy could fail flat on its face and die. If you want it to survive and bear its fruits, you will need to level up and face heavier and heavier opposition. This will allow you strategic adaptations that will make your strategy thrive even in hostile conditions.

Overall, Macro strategy is more effective and more important than Micro Execution. But in truth, they are designed to work together. However perfect the Macro Strategy would seem in the lab, in the real world, you need both of them to ensure Success. The driving force is always the Macro. But it must adapt to the needs of what the Micro Execution can provide.

If you want to build pyramids, but you don’t have the appropriate materials or workforce, the strategy may be good, but the execution will not allow for any bit of that strategy to be implemented.

Micro Execution without Macro Strategy is worthless. You have the ability to execute and make any strategy survive. But having no strategy, it’s a multiplier of 0. And 100% of 0, is still 0.

Macro Strategy without Micro Execution is impotent. Sure you have a plan that could shake the world. It sounds really good, in theory. But how many percents of that plan can really be implemented with the team you have? If you have a strategy worth 1000 points, but you can actually implement just 5% of it, all you get is 5% out of 1000 which is 50 worth of points.

If you spend just a little bit less worrying about the perfect strategy, and come up with a poorer strategy, one worth say not 1000 but only 600 points, but you dedicate the power to trial and error in the execution department, you may be able to actualize not just 5%, but maybe 25% of it.

Sure, it’s still pretty limited, it’s just ¼ of what it could be. But 25% out of 600 is 150. That is 3 times more than the 5% out of 1000.

So success-wise, a combination of pure Macro Strategy, no micro and pure Micro Execution, no macro is usually a better bet than exclusive favoring of one over the other, and coming up with the perfect strategy that severly lacks execution capability or perfect execution that completely lacks strategy and far-sight.

Of course, in real life this works differently. You will know where you stand. Odds are, you are either a strategic genius, who never acts in the now, and always thinks about the long term and makes up a plan for it. Or you are a very instinctual, impulsive person who is an absolute genius in the now, but really falls off in the long run. It’s the difference between the sprinter and the marathoner, but in terms of how the mind works. The tactician, the execution expert, is capable of incredible sprints, but his energy depletes extremely quickly. The strategist is capable of long term endurance, but if he needs to act quick and adapt in the now, he is really lost.

The strategist is like the heavy infantry. Slow and steady wins the race. He is the Elephant, the tortoise, anything that fits the archetype of slow and steady. His mobility is reduced, but he compensates for reduced mobility by bringing heavy firepower and heavy range. It’s like having siege weaponry on your side. Long range, heavy firepower, slow reload time. When a strategist hits, he shoots to kill, he doesn’t shoot to wound.

The tactician, the execution expert is the light infantry, the scout. He relies on speed, agility and cunning to win. Cunning is more like smartness than like intelligence. Intelligence is long-term, cunning is short-term. He uses his speed to position at the right angle and strike where the armor is thickest. He doesn’t secure the kill, but instead cripples his target blow by blow until finally it is unable to fight. The execution expert is brilliant at wounding, incapacitating and harassing. At identifying potential in the now threats and opportunities.

In the course of time, Tacticians become VETERANS, and Strategists become MASTERMINDS. They usually work together in a team. A team of strategists only would make up great strategies but they would fall flat on their face in practice. A team of tacticians would be excellent at executing, but will severely be lacking in the small details of the strategy to execute.

But if the two leave their pride aside and recognize their strong points and their limits, each can understand what its specific role in the team is.

The Tactical Executives will be in charge of scouting for opportunities and threats, experimenting with the strategy and devising idea proposals of how to improve its implementation in the field. They are the ones who make the plan actually work and survive in the world.

The Far-Sighted Strategists will be in charge of designing the strategy to be implemented by the tacticians, getting it through to them, and filtering and encompassing into the core strategy the feedback received from the in-field tests of the tacticians.

And each will get that he is not the other. The strategist will not try to be smart like the tactician. Being smart is not for him. He will get that he needs to be intelligent, not smart. Likewise, the tactician will feel good in his role as “the smart one”, but will not attempt to be the intelligent one that decides based on research what will be done and how.

The tasks will be divided, to each according to his special power, and the strategist will do their scientist things in their lab conditions, while out there in the real world, the tacticians will use their sharp intellects and their sheer smartness to see what can be implemented out of all that scientific abstract knowledge of the strategist.


So who will you be? An intelligent and potentially wise Strategic Mastermind, or a smart and clever Tactical Veteran?