The pressure on earnings increases in the short term, and the pressure of expectation grows in the long term. It seems familiar to you: On the one hand, managers and customers demand quick decisions and immediate success without much consideration for the day after tomorrow and on the other hand, the company is to be made fit for the future. Topics such as sustainability, compliance and new technologies should find their way into the company proactively and at an early stage.

What are the reasons: Political instability, new trends, new technologies, competitors and an as yet unknown generation Z usually make long-term planning hardly possible. Employees also seem to take the motto very seriously when changing employers: “After three years, after five years you have to!”

Often these reasons force managers to opt for short-term success, as this is predictable and measurable. But how can a balance be maintained between long-term and short-term success? In this article, I analyze both types of success and put the findings into concrete recommendations for employees and managers.

Prepare: The marathon runner

Short-term success is like a sprint. With enough carbohydrates (energy) in the body, you can make the sprint in a short time and succeed. Surely you have already walked such a route or at least ran to the next ICE to catch it in time. The consequence: short-term success and you have to take a breath.

Balance-short-term-long-term success
A marathon is equivalent to about 42 KM

A marathon consists of different stages and often the runner cannot tell exactly what weather or obstacles on the way will await him. He does the following: train and keep fit. He also practices sprints but also long runs and gathers experience with different weather conditions. There are stages in this he can run fast and there are also stages that make him difficult to move forward.

Use energy correctly: The green sea turtle

I found a great story in the book: The Cafe on the Edge of the World“. The protagonist Casey is an avid swimmer and likes to snorkel on reefs. During such a snorkeling course, you will encounter a green sea turtle and swim with it. But something exciting happens: The tortoise, so leisurely looking, has hung her off as a trained swimmer. Casey meets the green sea turtle on another snorkeling course and observes it closely.

She notes that the turtle never fights the current. She slowed down her movements and paddled only so much that she stays in place. Only when the wave flows back into the sea does it take advantage of this current and make the distance. Casey, on the other hand, has always tried to swim with the same force.

Sea turtles inhabit tropical marine areas and spend almost their entire lives in the water.

We too are facing difficult times in life, where conditions are not favourable due to market or management. It sometimes helps to just wait and not waste so much energy. Use the time to think about the future and wait for the next wave.

Conclusion

Professional life consists of phases of progress and phases of stagnation or resistance. Use these phases for short-term and long-term success. Now I would like to put the findings into concrete recommendations for employees and managers

For employees: Use good projects and high phases of the company to achieve short-term success. Afterwards, you can also use rest periods and standstill to read and exchange ideas with experts about possible topics in the future.

Reading Tip: Employability

For managers: Use good market positions to be successful at short notice and implement customer requests quickly and flexibly. Use short reviews and customer vacation periods to change the company and interact with experts.

Reading Tip: Agile management

Image source: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/ausf%C3%BChren-frau-morgen-m%C3%A4dchen-3684873/
Image source: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/tier-schildkr%C3%B6te-aquatic-1866808/
Image source: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/geld-m%C3%BCnze-investment-gesch%C3%A4ft-2724241/

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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