In a world where so many people today feel rushed, overwhelmed and perennially behind, being ‘crazy busy’ is almost like a badge of honour. It takes courage to slow down and be a long-term thinker, but the payoff can be enormous.
I am delighted to welcome Dorie Clark to my blog. She is a role model to me from whom I have learnt a great deal since connecting with her in 2020. I first listened to The Long Game on audio book (narrated brilliantly by Dorie herself) and enjoyed it so much I bought the hard copy too so I could revisit my favorite bits.
Chapter One opens with one of my biggest takeaways from the book: the statistics from two different studies:
1. 97% of senior leaders identified strategic thinking (i.e. the ability to focus deliberately on long-term priorities) as key to their organisation’s success.
2. 96% claimed they don’t have enough time to do long-term strategic thinking.
Even if we know intellectually that lasting success takes persistence and effort, so much of our culture pushes us towards doing what is easy and what’s guaranteed. So how can we make positive changes that will help us to think and act with a longer-term mindset?
This book will certainly help you on your journey.
Thank you for joining me Dorie… tell us a bit about your latest book, The Long Game
The Long Game is a strategy guide for turning today’s ambitions into tomorrow’s successes. Whether your goal is advancing in your career, building a business, or achieving personal dreams, The Long Game is centered around helping you make small choices today that can have a major impact on your life satisfaction in the future. It’s for anyone who’s ever felt the pull of instant gratification (which is almost all of us) but now feels ready to take the steps necessary to achieve lasting success.
If readers were to take away one message from The Long Game, what would you like it to be?
You have to have courage to play the long game. It’s not just emotionally gratifying to seek short-term wins – it’s also popular, because everyone can see the benefit and will encourage you. But truly pursuing long-term goals often means there are periods where it looks like it won’t work, and during those times, it’s easy to get discouraged or to let other people convince you that it’s a bad idea. That’s why I have so much respect for the people with the backbone to stand by their vision and keep moving forward, even when the outcome isn’t guaranteed.
What was your biggest lightbulb moment when you were writing it?
The Long Game is a book about how to invest your time to get the greatest return and at its heart, it turns out it’s quite like a financial investing book. The same principles – do a little bit now and you’ll get exponential returns later – apply to our careers, as well as our finances.
What advice would you give to yourself at the start of your career?
The best thing you can do for yourself, especially in the coming Age of AI, is to build a strong personal brand so that people will recognise the value of working with you, specifically, and not regard you as a commodity. When you create content to share your ideas, build a strong network, and leverage social proof (making it easy for others to recognize your worth by affiliating with known and trusted brands) – what I call the Recognized Expert formula – you’re creating career insurance for yourself.
What are your favourite books by other authors?
I’ll suggest two that have had a big impact on me – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, and Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.
Thanks Dorie – I am a fellow fan of Keith Ferrazzi. I love his concept of ranking his contacts on a scale and aiming to move people from 0: you’ve never met them up to 3: a trusted contact.
What is a surprising fact about you?
I went to college when I was 14 and graduated at 18. At the time, the most common question was, “Aren’t you sad you’re going to miss your prom?” Several decades later, I can safely say: I really didn’t care that I missed the prom.
Meanwhile here in England in the 1990s there was no such thing as prom.
What tips would you give other potential authors?
Don’t create the excuse that you need time off work to write your book. If you’re focused, you can do it even while working a full-time job. You don’t have to have a cabin in the woods to get things done!
This is music to my ears, although I did quite fancy a cabin I found this summer overlooking the Pacific Ocean!
Thank you so much, Dorie.
The Long Game gave me some great tips on being a long-term thinker. One practical step I have taken is to build in a question to the reflection that I complete at the end of each week ‘what progress have I made this week against my long-term goals?’. It ensures I look beyond my short-term task completion. I now regularly revisit my vision board, specifically the section of long-term goals, something I didn’t do before, and I have noticed a difference. Since doing this I have achieved a Board committee role with the charity GFS (Girls Friendly Society) – and I have written the outline of my future book.
Each chapter of The Long Game ends with a helpful summary called ‘Remember’. Some of my favourite reminders are:
- Schedule and set limits around your true priorities. Work could theoretically expand to fill all the time you have – so instead, put firm boundaries around it.
- As you advance professionally and get busier, you have to start saying ‘no’ more often. Push yourself to say ‘yes’ to only to things you’re excited about.
- No one is going to hand you development opportunities on a platter. You need to seek them out proactively.
- To get more done, alternate between heads-up and heads-down modes. During the former you’re actively seeking connections and exploring new possibilities. During the latter, it’s time to focus and execute.
- If you plan with a longer horizon than everyone else, and you’re willing to endure the ups and downs along the way, you’ll be able to accomplish far more than others – or even you – imagined.
For more of Dorie Clark:
And definitely buy The Long Game!
For my earlier blog on building a strong personal brand, see here: Why it’s not a terrible thing to influence how other people think of you
Visit my book recommendations page.