On Proactivity

The Proactive Reactive



It’s another word that’s tossed about. Be proactive. Don’t be reactive. What does this mean?

In my experience acting on something immediately is far better than waiting for that thing to grow to a point where it’s difficult to take care of. Pull a weed when it’s very small, and it takes a moment and requires very little energy. Wait for it to take root and spread, and you’ve got another issue.

Events in life are like that. They may start small. Call them “untoward events” or “negative events” if you want. Whatever the name, being proactive means taking steps NOW to make sure the weeds don’t start. Or the negative comments don’t start.

I realize there will always be those who find pleasure in making others miserable. I know people who aren’t happy unless they’re grumpy. I don’t know if Grumpy ever smiled, but I’m sure Sleepy and Dopey did.

If you don’t want the sleep or dopey label, and prefer not to spend you time putting out fires, then get on with thinking about these things:

What things around you need organizing? Start organizing them.

What people around you need attention? Give them attention.

What policies  need reviewing? Start reviewing.

What processes need improving or evaluating? Start looking at them.

By taking action NOW, you are smoothing the road for tomorrow. You contribute to the creation of a positive environment. These thoughts can be applied anywhere, not just in the workplace. Home is a good place to start, because there is usually a lot less stress there, and the ramifications or impact of failure to implement is less.

When people depend on you for leadership, the game changes. It is now up to you to speak up, rise up, and gain a higher level of perspective. If you haven’t started already, it’s not too late. Take the first step, and create the snowball effect. It’s often hardest to overcome inertia, but when you spread the workload through delegation, it makes life easier.

You are delegating, right? Excellent. Now get cracking and make things happen!


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