It’s a leader’s dream to see all employees anticipating future changes, opportunities or problems and preparing the business to face it by taking action today.
They are not simply reacting to cues from the operating environment, but proactively trying to make a difference. This is crucial to succeed or survive in today’s fast changing business world with its increasingly complex work tasks. At the organizational level, adapting and reacting to changes in one’s environment is not enough; companies need to be proactive to stay ahead of competition. Reaction is costly and takes time unnecessarily and breeds de-motivation across the business organization.
Being proactive means thinking and acting ahead of anticipated events; this means using foresight. Not only is it a great method to avoid more work down the road, but it can be extremely important for averting disasters.
For the employee, one great way to build your image at work and gain respect and recognition is to be proactive. That means figuring out what needs to be done before it shows up on your desk. Everything else being equal, proactive employees will have the edge over others.
Employees should engage in self-started, future-oriented behavior without the need for constant direction and supervision by others. As a life discipline, employees should not simply let life happen to them but rather, should try to manage, shape, expand, and mould what happens in their lives. In other words ‘you control not be controlled’ by the external factors.
Set the tone
Doing what you regularly do more efficiently and cost effectively may demand proactive action too but going beyond your boundary to make greater contribution makes more sense for you and your employer.
Pause for a moment and view your work from the perspective of the internal or external customers equally well. The most respected employees in the workplace are team players. Demonstrate the willingness to assist wherever and whenever needed. Do not wait for opportunities to come your way.
Anticipate what’s next and take action now. Emulate others who role model proactive behaviour and observe the differences in approach, style and behaviour.
The chances are that some of the most respected leaders in your company are proactive people.
Proactive employees care about producing their best at all times. You can prevent working in a reactive and chaotic mode if you stay organized. Take the time to keep an orderly and timely work pattern and have free thinking space to be proactive.
Set the tone at the top by being pro-active and showing the way and instill the same discipline in the minds of all employees to create the culture – promote discipline and have rewards following wins. This is the mantra to make your job as a leader easier.