Watching how people drive can tell you a lot about how people think. My hypothesis is that people tend to predominantly think a certain way across multiple areas of their lives. 

I am not talking about the ages old good versus bad driver. Most people consider themselves to be above average drivers and statistics say half of them are wrong.

This observation first hit me on the long drive from Calgary to Edmonton watching someone else drive. Much of the highway is two lanes in either direction and the speed limit is mostly 110 km/hour. The challenge is to maintain a constant speed so you don't have to move on and off of cruise control too often. This also assumes that you are trying to follow the keep right except to pass rule and not driving either aggressively fast or overly slow compared to most traffic.

Truck on highway strategic versus tactical driving

Purely Tactical Drivers

These are the people who react to what is happening. They only seem to notice they are moving faster than the vehicle ahead of them once they get close. At that point that jump off of cruise and start making decisions about what to do next. 

They check the mirror and wait for an opening. Once they pass the vehicle they move back into the right lane, set cruise control and repeat.

The Strategic Drivers

The strategic driver is planning into the future. They are aware of what is in front of them and start trying to project when they will catch up to the vehicle in front of them so they can be ready and start looking for openings in advance.

Advanced Strategic Drivers

The people with really advanced skill in this area are also aware of vehicles approaching from behind in both lanes. They combine what is happening in front with what is happening behind and plan out tactical responses to the possibilities way in advance. When they finally get to the point where they need to decide they pick from the previous plans and execute them based on current data. They rarely have to make major adjustments to speed unless traffic is really heavy.

Both of these levels of strategic drivers need to build spatial models and projections. It is only the level of awareness and projections that change. 

The Balance

Strategic drivers will not fare well in situations where the data is changing rapidly. Heavy stop and go traffic requires more tactical driving.  

So there is a balance required between the two styles.

Your Business

Your business is the same. There are times for tactics and times for strategy. Both skills are required.

Which way do you tend to drive?

Which way do you tend to run your business?

Are the two the same?