Tactics are what you do. The strategy is why you are doing it.
Seems simple, right?
In the marketing world, it’s actually extremely convoluted.
One “guru” tells you to get on social media and post 3 times a day. One tells you that you need a comprehensive digital strategy and a “be everywhere” system. And another tells you that you need to cold call 27 hours a day until your brain explodes.
And you’re sitting there like, “I’M SO FUCKING CONFUSED.”
Listen up because I’m about to lay some knowledge on you.
I’m going to teach you how to ask the right questions so that you understand when someone is teaching you a tactic or a strategy. And how to use that information to spot someone who doesn’t have both sides to the coin.
“You see Adam, the problem here is that you just aren’t very coachable. That’s very important to being apart of a team sport. Do you think you can work on that?”
I can remember that conversation like it was yesterday. I was 15 and playing on a summer baseball league. School baseball had ended and in order to keep my skills up I had opted to play on a summer team.
I thought I had been having a pretty good season. I’d never been a star performer but I was mostly solid and happy with how the game had gone.
Until my coach asked me to stay late.
I figured he was going to chat with me about my batting stance or maybe that I needed to be a little quicker on my feet when fielding a line drive.
But not being coachable? What the fuck did that mean?
Being 15 I just kind of nodded my head and said “Sure coach. I’ll do my best to work on it.”
The problem was I had ZERO idea what being coachable actually meant. He was trying to give me a strategy, not a tactic. The problem was that this was a new concept to me. I couldn’t connect what he was saying with how he wanted me to act or be.
And that’s a huge issue with strategies. In theory they sound good. Here’s a couple you may have heard before: