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In World War II, the European conflict ended when Hitler ran out of gas. Literally.

It wasn’t an accident. It was a key element of the Allied strategy. The Allies controlled the oil and they kept him from gaining access to it.

Not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of war strategy, is it? What about the battles, the firepower, the brave and heroic efforts of millions? Those are tactics–vitally important, but not what wins the war.

Most organizations suffer from this same confusion. They mistake planning with strategy (strategic planning). Though crucial, planning is purely tactical. It’s what everyone is doing. And probably planning similar tactics, too.

Strategy is deceptive. It’s what no one expects of you, and what no one else is doing. It’s what moves the market toward you and away from them. It’s what keeps you in the lead.

So, keep improving your tactics. You’ll need them. But if you want to control your destiny, you’ll need strategy. Just don’t ever confuse the two.