Altitude Advisory Partner Kristen Buik says the short-term fixation shown by our politicians provides business leaders with a clear view of what not to do.
In light of the debacle that is Australian politics this week I have been reflecting on ‘short termism’. It’s the nature of the beast – between opinion polls, elections, economic news and colleagues willing to knife you in the back to take your job – that our pollies view their role in the short term.
They must come in and do something ‘big’, something of impact or risk being dethroned.
Short-term thinking doesn’t just pervade politics though, it’s also very entrenched in business. Consider a CEO or GM, they are often hired to make massive improvements fast, they stand to receive massive compensation for the privilege and then they move on without regard for the years to come. Shareholders want returns now, not in five years.
This short-term thinking even permeates our consumerism culture – you can have what you want now and figure out a way to pay for it later. Short termism has become habitual across the board, and even though common sense and history tell us that long-term strategy, planning and thoughtful decision making provides much better outcomes, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.
We can only control ourselves, so let’s start there. Thinking in the long term is not easy. The busier we get, the harder it becomes, and we spiral into a cycle of reactivity and lose sight of what we really are seeking to achieve.
I encourage you to take time to reflect on what you want in the long term, visualise where you want to be and keep it front of mind when you make the countless daily decisions.
It will help you to avoid jumping at shiny things when you see them, and it will see you achieve your goals much sooner than you otherwise would.
As for the pollies…