Examples can be helpful to understand how strategies and tactics relate.
Example 1: Planning a Trip
We use strategy and tactics in very simple ways every day without realizing it. For example, if you’re planning a trip from Beirut, Lebanon to Tunis, Tunisia, you need a strategy to get there.
Strategy involves answering many questions, such as: How do you plan to travel (airplane, boat, etc.)? What resources do you have? When do you need to get there?
If you decide to travel by airplane, the tactics of purchasing that plane ticket can be to:
- Call a travel agent
- Use the website of a specific airline
- Use a website that compares the rates of different airlines.
Example 2: Finding a Job
Perhaps your goal is to find a new job as part of a long-term plan for financial stability. There are several different strategies you can use to find a job, including:
- Using your current skills to find a new job
- Becoming an apprentice for a trade
- Going to college for a new career.
If you decide on a strategy to use your current skills in a different job, then your tactics might include:
- Updating your résumé
- Telling your friends that you want a new job so they can help you
- Looking at job postings in newspapers or on the Internet.
In this situation, as in most cases, you’ll probably use a few different tactics as part of your strategy to find a job. And in the process, you might decide that some tactics don’t work well so you’ll abandon them and try new tactics.
Example 3: Fighting Government Corruption
Let’s say your overall goal is to reduce government corruption in your country. One strategy might be to pass a law that those convicted of corruption would face severe consequences. This strategy requires you to think about how you will persuade lawmakers to vote for the law. The tactics will be specific actions such as:
- Drafting a sample law to present to lawmakers
- Arranging phone calling campaigns to lawmakers
- Planning demonstrations around officials who are rumored to be corrupt
- Identifying government officials who appear to be interested in a more democratic government and tailoring an approach to each individual.
Learn more about how to choose and apply the right tactics for your strategy.