Being a good leader means doing more than simply planning and assigning tasks to your TEAM. A good leader is proactive, and the TEAM can feel when their leader is going above and beyond for them. Proactiveness spreads like moss when group members notice others being energetic and productive. They either subconsciously absorb those qualities or amp up their output quality for the joy of healthy competition.
A proactive leader sets these standards for his associates, not by dictation, but by practicing those values and modeling such an approach. Being someone who is proactive encompasses the ability to be ready for whatever situation might arise. This means they have trained themselves to predict outcomes and be ready for unsavory circumstances.
Proactive and Reactive Leaders are Different
Being proactive does not mean that you will avoid all unfavorable outcomes, as that would be beyond anyone’s human capabilities. However, proactive leaders do, to a certain extent, mitigate any damage that might be caused or do their best to avoid a future problem. So, they do not wait for circumstances to be thrust upon them; they prepare well in advance.
Regardless, not all leaders are proactive. Some are passive, which marks the difference between a good and a bad leader. Not every person who leads would necessarily be a phenomenal leader. For example, reactive leaders are those who wait for a circumstance and then react to mend the problem. By the time they come up with a solution, the problem has already escalated. Contrarily, in this situation, a proactive leader would have spent no time brainstorming ideas because they have already done that through risk management or similar strategies.
Benefits of Proactive Leadership
Trust is the mainstay of any organizational structure. People work as a unit when there is mutual trust within the group. It is the leader’s responsibility to create this trust and maintain it. Associates need a person in the hierarchy they can trust, and a proactive leader fills that role. They believe that their leader will always have their best interests at heart.
People respect you when you respect them. A cordial environment is created when members of that environment respect each other. For this, they start with receiving respect from their leader and appreciating them in return. With time, they understand that they are respected as an integral part of the team. It also indicates that they would need to keep pulling their own weight to maintain that respect, just like all the other members, including their leader.
Positive Reinforcement with Enhanced Performance
Good leaders promote healthy competition. One TEAM member’s exceptional performance also incentivizes others to give their best. This competition keeps a workplace from falling into monotony, which is a breeding ground for laziness, mistakes, and other inefficiencies.
Similar to charisma, proactivity is contagious. When the leader is proactive, the TEAM will follow. This is visible through productivity figures, be it sales, market reach, or lead generation. It’s not just the amount of work completed that records an upward trend but also the quality of said work.
A Proactive Leader – Dan Price
The CEO of Gravity Payments, Dan Price, is an example that stunned people around the world. As CEO, he had a handsome income, but upon noticing his associates struggling financially, he decided to take a pay cut to pay his employees fairly. When the world was hit with COVID-19 and businesses were laying off their employees, every single one of his company’s employees agreed to a pay cut. As a result, Gravity Payments made it out of the pandemic without a single layoff. One of his employees also referenced that when she didn’t have to worry about her salary, she could focus more on providing high-quality work.
So what does Dan’s case teach us? Proactive leaders are empathetic and create close-knit communities. This brings about sustainable work environments that pay off in the long run.
Dr. James McLaughlin, DBA, MEd