Are You Proactive or Reactive?

There are two different leadership styles that are prevalent in the workplace: proactive and reactive.

These strategies differ in the way they tackle management problems and their approach towards planning.

Motivational speaker Craig Harper explains it best: Reactive is, “I’ve got massive chest pain and pins and needles down my arm. Maybe I’ll go to the doctor.” Proactive is, “Even though I have no symptoms, I want to live a long, healthy life so I have embraced the lifelong habits of healthy eating and regular exercise.”

Proactive management is a strategy that plans for the future. A proactive leader recognizes potential problems and focuses on preventing them before they arise. They also believe in envisioning the future and working towards achieving it.

Reactive management deals with problems after they arise, or spur-of the-moment, without planning for the future.

It may seem like the proactive management style is the best of the two. But there are times when it’s appropriate to be reactive. When we need to adapt quickly to a rapidly changing environment, reactive management can be beneficial. Sometimes long-term plans need to be scratched to meet immediate needs. Even the most proactive person in the world can’t avoid unforeseen obstacles and challenges.

However, being proactive presents a clear advantage over being reactive. Here are a few key behaviors involved in being proactive:

  1. Develop Foresight– Proactive people are rarely caught by surprise.
  2. Plan– Bring the future into the present.
  3. Prevent– See the obstacles and devise a plan to overcome them.
  4. Get Involved– Contribute and lead by example.
  5. Perform– Take timely, effective action.

There is a time and place for the reactive and proactive leadership styles. When it concerns your staffing needs, it’s beneficial to adopt more of a “proactive” approach to hiring- A company can’t thrive on reactive hires. Artemis’ consultative hiring process is ideal to establishing a proactive plan to make your company succeed. Contact us today to learn more.