When I am working with leaders the question frequently arises about why organizations and people get stuck doing certain things the same way over and over. I usually start a conversation with them about how people and businesses fall into patterns that don’t always lead in the direction they want or yield the results they hope for. As humans, we are creatures of habit who tend to get comfortable with the way things are going, regardless of their efficacy.
It usually comes down to the leadership philosophy of the company. Are they proactive or reactive? Take a moment to gauge where you are and think about how this approach affects your organization.
Characteristics of Being Reactive
- Putting out fires constantly
- Go from one crisis to another.
- Controlled chaos.
- Clear plan not in place.
- Winging it.
Characteristics of Being Proactive
- Clear plan in place to anticipate crises.
- Work on steps based on priority and urgency.
- Rarely experiences chaos.
- Takes time to plan for contingencies.
- Systems in place to diminish crisis.
Proactive leaders and businesses practice self-awareness by taking the time to plan beforehand instead of putting out fires after the fact. The benefit of being proactive is that you avoid many of the headaches that are common in the “winging it” type of workplace. What will you do to be a more proactive leader?