Award-winning author Dorie Clark spoke to students from a live webinar on Wednesday, September 30, to discuss tactics to improve strategic thinking from her latest book release.
Clark, a communication coach, and Cal State Long Beach alumna, explained that during COVID-19, many people, including herself, were put into short-term thinking mode.
Instead of thinking about the future, which was indefinitely put on hold, people were only focused on getting through the current crisis. Clark’s book, “The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World,” offers guidance on how to refocus on the future.
“You can only be in reactive mode for so long,” Clark said during the webinar. “Now is the time to begin to come back, to set forward-looking goals and intentions.”
Clark said that strategic thinking is completing tasks today that will make tomorrow better, no matter how difficult they may be. Clark told viewers, that though detours and unexpected challenges will arise in life, it’s important to not only respond to what is happening externally.
Clark also acknowledged that some students may not know what they’re passionate about, but advised them to not be discouraged by that, as many often learn by doing.
Pursuing a career is similar to investing in stocks, as you wouldn’t put all your money into one stock, Clark said.
“The more skills that you are cultivating for yourself, it’s basically just more arrows in your quiver,” Clark said. “You’re better armed for the future, whatever that future looks like.”
Clark advised students to make space for themselves to cultivate strategic thinking. She discussed how oftentimes people move automatically, agreeing to things and doing things out of obligation. Instead, students should set their own parameters and prioritize themselves, because if not they will burn out.
In discouraging times, Clark said she recommends students to look for the raindrops or small signs of progress. Clark, who has also written books on networking and entrepreneurship, said her motive in writing the book was to help good people succeed.
“I want to live in a world where good ideas get heard and get developed,” Clark said. “A big part of it is making sure that we really think about and understand what’s necessary.”