Episode #49: Short-Term Hits, Long-Term Misses: How Decisions Today Impact Your Future

Leadership is Calling Episode #49
Barbara Schindler and Heather McGonigal

Short-Term Hits, Long-Term Misses: How Decisions Today Impact Your Future

 “Take that moment. Well, how’s this play out in the longer term? That practice gives us that pause also to benefit from not making reactive decisions.”  -Barbara Schindler, Executive Coach, COO Leading Edge Teams

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, leaders face the constant challenge of juggling short-term demands with long-term aspirations. This insightful fireside chat with leadership experts Barbara Schindler and Heather McGonigal delves into the crucial relationship between immediate actions and lasting outcomes. Discover practical strategies for:

  • Balancing short-term needs with long-term goals
  • Cultivating a future-focused mindset
  • Asking the right questions to make impactful decisions
  • Utilizing the Decision Matrix tool for informed choices
  • Building sustainable success for yourself and your team

Learn how the best leaders balance short and long term strategic thinking.

Key Points
  • Anchor your leadership in long term strategic planning
  • When making decisions, take a moment to play it forward and consider long term impacts 
  • Avoid reactive decisions made too quickly without seeing the big picture
  • Build in practices to pause and reflect on how choices shape the future
Related Resources

Leadership Skills: The Business Part
Leadership Development Articles: How to Create Clear Measurable Outcomes  |  Adapt and Flex to Achieve Your Goals: The A to V Business Model
Downloadable Leadership Tool: The Key Basics of Agreements

Redefining Accountability: Cartoon- Team holding outcome cards 'Success'. Leading Edge Teams
Leading with the Long View in Mind

AI Generated Transcript – unedited version

Short-Term Hits, Long-Term Misses: How Decisions Today Impact Your Future


Hi, Barbara. Nice to see you. I love the cozy fire. Yes, we’re getting into that little more winter season here. And this is our leadership fireside chat. That’s right. What are you thinking about leadership right now?

I was thinking, I know that when we work with clients and I feel like we often talk about how to lead the change. And with everything going on in business today, we know people are, you know, dealing with a lot of complexity and also needing to look ahead and be innovative and all of that. So I was wondering what you think about how the best leaders deal with this, needing to think about the business picture for the long term. How do people set themselves up for success every day in their role?

Well, a good question. You know, first that comes to mind is like, you know, it’s so important to be sure you’ve done some, you know, strategizing on the bigger picture long term. Have your strategic plan and keep that in mind. Right. So there’s an anchor out there that’s best practice, right? Your team should know that. And, you know, like now as we’re ending 2023, you know, hopefully people are thinking what’s happening, you know, not only next year or next 12 to 18 months, but what about that three year or that five year mark, too? And it’s that practice of being aware of that and then keeping that in mind.

I was just noticing in my Slack channels with a client, they’re asking for a little more time because they’re working on a decision making matrix right. So she was basically saying, I really want to think this through, so I want a couple extra days to just have the right conversations.

So when you ask that question, I was thinking part of the long term, short term thinking, they’re making a short term decision that has a long term impact, when to the business that we have to think about the consequences as we’re problem solving for right now that we can’t just solve for right now. It also does have this future impact. So this sounds like this client has, you know, quite a big decision and is smart for them to know that they should pause and slow it down and actually request that time and honor that part. So I love that. Okay. So keep going.

Right. So, I was thinking if you keep that in your leadership mind that any decision you’re making, take that moment. Well, how’s this play out in the longer term? Right. That practice gives us that pause also to benefit from not making reactive decisions. Short term decisions made quickly cannot produce exactly what you think they’re going to. I think I was on a call earlier today, too, and I was speaking to a leader and she’s like, you know, once you make those plans, right, we know this. We step off of a you don’t know exactly how that’s really going to turn out. Right. And we want to do the best thinking that this is true. Also, you know, we don’t know exactly. Usually, you know, the whole thing about business is way more complex than we usually think. Right?

Right. Yeah. But, you know, in the question we’re exploring right now, the best way to do, you know, make decisions and consider short term and long term is maybe to just remember to ask into the question, you know, let’s take a moment and see how this might play out. And we don’t know for sure. There’s too many, you know, of different things that might come in from people’s decisions to results. You might get that you don’t know something else you’re not aware of right now.

But if you can just kind of say, let’s take a minute and see what this would be if it played forward, that might just be a good indicator to keep in mind. You know, we want kind of habitual practices that allow us to have that inkling like, wait a minute, let’s play this forward for a minute. That might be a clue code or something for the team.

Thanks, Barbara.

Thanks, Heather.

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