I learned a lot about the way Jeff Bezos thinks and looks at business and life after reading early this year 'The Shop of Everything' by Brad Stone. As I grow older I realise what thinking long term really means.
You see, when you are young, strategic thinking is something that you need to force yourself to do, you think of it from a time perspective; strategic decisions are important because they provide better returns, but they take considerably longer than a more tactical approach.
While this makes perfect sense, its a very narrow minded immature of looking at it.
When I ran my own company I thought that making a long term decision meant I would see an outcome in a specific date, as if there was a mandatory waiting time that I needed to endure in order to get a return on my investment, since I didn't have any money to bank that waiting time, every decision I made was short sighted, focused on our day to day operations. The result were what would be expected, a company that ended up living and surviving day to day.
I now see things so differently, strategic thinking is not task orientated, it is seeded in a set of principles and philosophies that drive a set of actions without a specific output date set in stone, strategic thinking is malleable, it bends but does not break as its existence does not exclusively depend on external circumstances.
Its still focused on obtaining a return on investment, but it takes other things into account as well, such as sustainability, scale, competition.
Im not sure if at that age I would ever be able to understand this, specially without having gone through the hardships and failures I went through due to my limited view of things in general.