1.01 – Use Long Term Goals to Drive Decisions | Principles of Lean
“Base your decisions on a long term goals, rather than short term gains.”
Staying true to your long term goals is not very easy either in business or in our personal lives.
In the business world, we continually chase share price and quarterly earning targets, which drives short term behavior. The company motto quickly becomes “that we will do whatever it takes to hit the earnings targets.”
We cut budgets, cut travel, we stop paying suppliers – we stop investing in tomorrow so that we give ourselves a proverbial tap on the back at the end of the quarter.
But this behavior damages the longterm business success of organizations and damages the culture. We stop doing what is right for the long term and instead live with a short term view of everything. Our growth slows, and new projects and products don’t even get out of the starting block to make the needed competitive difference.
The same goes for our personal lives as well as we are all guilty of preferring the immediate gratification rather than the long term benefits. We take the extra portion, or we might binge on the TV series because doing what we know we must do feels too painful.
“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance” – Steven Pressfield, the War of Art.
We all know that we will make short term decisions that may impact the long term goals. But this principle is there to remind us to keep the long term in mind and try to use the long term goals to guide our actions.