Tactician vs Strategist in Corporate Planning


Every business aspires to achieve growth and success. To do so, they need to set goals and targets. However, simply setting objectives and goals without aligning them to good planning and leadership is futile. Companies must look within and consider external factors to position themselves in the market.

It is essential to choose between being a tactician vs strategist. In Business, ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics’ are terms used frequently. But it is important to know and understand the difference between strategist vs tactician.  A well-planned pathway will always be fruitful and rewarding for any business. It will not help to attain sustainable competitiveness but also growth and success over a period of time.

Renowned strategist, Sun Tzu pointed in his book, The Art of War, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory”. As for definition tactician was explained as “Tactics without strategy is the noise before the defeat.” This tells us that tactics are the small steps that contribute to the plan of action that a business shall undertake to achieve any its goal.

Difference between tactician vs strategist:

Whenever an organization looks at their resources and capabilities investment towards the goal of success it is called a ‘strategy’. By this strategy is at the core of an organization’s competency and opportunities available to explore. By competency, it does not only look at existing resources and talent. But, it also builds what people require to achieve their target. Hence, it creates value for its use as well as for the overall development.

In very simple words, a strategic plan is all about the long-term goals of a business and setting its goals accordingly. It is a wholesome approach to looking at the ‘big picture’ for growth and advancement. To do so, a business will have to look into its existing available resources and manpower capabilities that shall complement the strategic plan.

Once a business has set its target destination, laid out the best possible pathway to achieve it is should focus on how to be a good strategist. In fact how to be a great strategist. Their plans should support and aid them to reach their target destination with great success and excellence.

Implication on Business:

A Tactic is a checklist that must audit regularly to keep track of our progress. Tactical plans are more about the methods and tools that will require achieving the strategic goals of a business. Comparing, tactician vs strategist is all about the minor details and nitty-gritty aspects. Some of the basic day-to-day tasks and actions lay out to complete a successful strategic plan of action. It is important to take note, that tactical plans must have specified milestones and deadlines. Further, to track the progress from time to time. This is where tactics come into play. A well-known business rule of thumb taught in business management is: “Think strategically, act tactically.

Role of Tactic planning for Business Success:

Adopting a tactician vs strategist approach is rather unique and complex to decide. It all depends on the requirement and desired results that a business looks for. The term tactics come from “taktikos” – a military reference that means tasks and actions.  They are used and deployed by the soldiers on the battleground field that is aligned to the strategies formed.

A SMART tactical plan is specific and clear to understand and implement. Further, with scheduled task completion points highlighted at every step. It also ensures that the implementation of each task or activity completes and with success. In case, tasks do not complete or altered by some unexpected factors. These should tackle at the earliest and re-aligned to move ahead.

On Ground Reality:

It indicates that while on the ground, leaders face situations first hand and know the best way out. Thus it becomes very important for them to have the freedom of choosing what’s right to do at that moment. Their confidence is boosted by having such authority. The ultimate goal, however, remains intact and should not compromise at any cost.

But the authority to make the decision should come with a guided framework.  That does not hamper the whole mission and goal achievement. Thus having performance accountability regardless of the consequences at the end is also crucial. All this plays an important role in deciding tactician vs strategist impacting the outcome of business goals.

The management must be mindful that factors such as authority, direction, and resources are flexible. Thus, flows from the strategic level to the tactical level. But, accountability can’t be forced upon. The value of accountability is only recognizable if their leaders or executors understand it fully. Also, take ownership of it with due diligence and responsibility. They will need to be responsible for their performance standards and committed to timely expectations.

The Balancing Act:

Companies are all about making profits and achieving success with great heights. However, they need to introspect a lot to identify their strengths and weakness, opportunities and threat around them. Whether to move with a tactician vs strategist plan is always tricky to approach. There isn’t any ‘one size fits all’ ideology in management. Each business enterprise, have their unique style of operating.


The nature of both business plans is diverse yet co-related and interdependent to each other. Both types of corporate plans complement each other for a good plan and execute a strategy to form. As we can understand clearly that between tactician vs strategist, a tactic plan is much more organized, accurate and efficient over the long run. Businesses must understand this difference and identity means on how to become a tactician, in fact how to be a good tactician altogether.

Hence, one should not focus on any one style of plan, but rather go with the best of both worlds. This shall avoid failures in the future. A wise business leader should prepare his plan that is a combination of both, strategic and tactical methods.


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