I see a lot of these kinds of short-vs-long situations happening when a certain kind of behavior is normalized. Effects like “everybody is doing it” reinforces the behavior, and at the extreme end it is seen as risky to go against the herd. In these environments, it takes true leadership to help teach and guide the masses toward a better way of doing business.
Another good example is how the cargo-cult around ‘growth hacking’ ends up pushing marketing and PR into dangerous territory. The short term greed can be characterized as over aggressive attempts at capturing vanity metrics, which end up spiking page views and other proxies of growth. The aggressiveness often destroys long term growth as the easy wins means little focus is paid on retention. In the worst cases it ends up destroying brand credibility as the tactics start to look little more than veiled attempts at spamming.
It’s ironic, but even the term “thought leadership” has been taken in under the wing of cargo-cult content marketing. True thought leaders are hard to find.
Thanks for leading.