Take the Long View

Time horizons are one of the most under-considered factors that dictate decision-making.

Take the Long View

One of our organizational values is to “take the long view,” but like many, I often find it hard to generate enough escape velocity to get above the gravitational pull of the day-to-day. A reasonable critique of my leadership of Uncharted over the last three years would be an over-indexing on decisions that optimized for short-term benefit and cash flow.

But thinking/acting on a longer-term time horizon is one of those things that is more a test of courage than intellect, more an exercise in discipline than vision. And I’m quite driven to grow in my ability to do things that require courage and discipline, especially when the benefits of taking the long view are so numerous, as this article* suggests. It makes a few key points:

  • So few people are operating on long-term time horizons that doing so elevates you into a realm where you find less competition.
  • Time horizons are one of the most under-considered factors that dictate decision-making, and the analyses of a decision change when the time horizon changes (see this cartoon).
  • The power of compound interest means that daily actions in service of long-term goals have exponential impact. There are few investments that yield as extraordinary a return as an investment in our own deep, long-term learning.

*The patriarchal, gendered nature of this article is not lost on me: not only are the article’s subjects themselves privileged men, but presumably so is its author, and many of the suggestions outlined therein are only possible to those with such gender-race-class privilege. Nevertheless, some good points remain.