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August 10, 2023 1 Min Read

Confluent Leadership Principle #7: Think Long-Term

Team setting Goals

You need to have a longer-term strategy for success in your area AND a path towards that broken out into quarterly milestones that meet the near-term needs of the business. You sometimes see leaders struggle with lifting their heads up to think longer term, or failing to balance execution on a longer-term roadmap with day-to-day deliverables. These teams are doing great this quarter, but have no plan to scale their area to keep up with the business and be set up to meet the needs of this quarter next year or the year after.

 

Long-term thinking can manifest itself in many ways:

  • Investments in the processes, tools, and skills your team needs to grow with the business and accelerate execution

  • Plans to take underperforming areas from bad to good to great

  • A strategy for building competitive advantage against our competitors

 

This sometimes gets referred to by fancier names: strategy, innovation, vision, and so on. But at their heart, these are all referring to similar things: having a clear picture of where you want to go and executing a plan to get there. The key technique that can help make this effective is “working backwards”. That is, start with where you want to be in, say, three years, stated as concretely as possible, and then solve backward for what would have to be true in two years, in one year, and this quarter to be on track to achieve that.

 

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Reprinted with permission from Confluent, 2023

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