According to its Greek etymology, strategy (derived from στρατός, stratós (“army”) and ἄγω, ágô (“to lead”)) refers to the art of preparing, directing the overall operations of a war, whereas tactics (τάσσω, tássô (“to arrange, to set in ranks”), formally derived from τακτός, taktós (“ordered”) with the suffix -ικός, -ikós. ) refers to the art of arranging troops on the field, of employing them in battle.
Strategy is about how to win the war. Tactics focuses on winning battles. A winning strategy may involve several tactics that turn out to be losing. It’s like sailing a boat and setting a destination and a course. Because of changing weather conditions, you need to take a different course that takes better advantage of the wind direction or the swell. Nevertheless, your ultimate goal has not changed.
On a personal or professional level, thinking like a strategist means trying to make plans to achieve an important goal, such as: How can I be in a fulfilling relationship? How to be successful with my business or career? How to raise happy children? etc.
The tactic will be to try concrete actions to contribute in part to the larger goal, i.e., winning small battles to win the war. If you are asking yourself the strategic question of how to increase your customer base, you can implement different tactics and see what the effects are. A tactic that changes after a failure is called pivoting in startup parlance. Essentially, tactics are action-oriented and strategy is thoughtful, both are necessary for success but their proportion changes as a project progresses or as new information comes to light.
Thus, it is more than necessary to know how to juggle between a strategist’s and a tactician’s mind. The best generals of yesteryear or entrepreneurs of today know how to finely combine the two.
In short, you must act as a man of thought and think as a man of action. Henri Bergson