short vs long term

Short vs Long Term

It seems to me that a lot of what we do in the modern world is increasingly short term. What we buy, sell, eat, what we watch, read and listen to. What we share, think is funny or entertaining, what engages our imagination and attention.

It’s often incredibly short term.

I work with leaders and I can’t remember a time when leaders voluntarily talked about the legacy of their leadership. I don’t ever remember seeing an executive reward system that was linked to organisational performance 5 – 10 years after the leader’s left for another role.

I’m working in the city today, and at lunch time, I had to go down in a lift, 11 floors, to walk to an arcade to buy lunch. As the lift doors opened, 8 people briefly looked up from their phones, and then resumed their linking/talking/texting to the people on their phones.

I joined a queue to buy some soup and 10 people in front of me were looking at their phones, texting, emailing, talking.

I sat down to eat and it seemed to me that of over 10 tables, only one couple (two women) were talking to each other.

By the way, I was also on my phone – in the lift, in the queue, at a table.

I was texting clients, smsing my kids, talking to a work colleague

If I don’t do this in my breaks, I’d never get done what needs to be done. And I am sure that’s what everyone else thinks. Fit it in, cram, quick, speak, text, decide, move on.

I wonder if that’s why we are so short term; it’s like walking a long mountain track, and only ever really digesting where you’ll place your foot next. Is there a real and unspoken risk that not only are we not enjoying the view, the walk, the people we are actually with, but we are not looking up the trail far enough to think not just about the risks, but about the opportunities.

Just a thought.


So who are you mostly texting or talking to on the phone, I’m curious to know.


Image courtesy of pakorn /

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