Leadership often requires us to shape situations and to move people from the status quo. We can unwisely blame people when things aren’t the way we would like them to be and then whinge that we have the right vision and they are not following our ‘good leadership’.
If people are not following, then you are not leading.
Leadership requires us to move from being reactive to being proactive if we want to bring about change.
This means that only reacting against circumstances and situations, or being stirred to action by them, is limiting. We need to acknowledge the reality of some circumstances and take stock, at times, before we can move forward with the right vision. But we also need to keep our eyes on where we need to be and not only on where we are. Reactive leadership tends to be negative and critical and too focused in the present, anyway.
Proactive leadership appreciates the value of the past in moving with purpose from the present into a clear future. It is about taking decisive action, but also strategic action. It is all too easy to make rash decisions, but these have to be well thought through, being mindful of the impact on people around us and, in particular, the people we are leading.
And being proactive, rather than reactive, often means we have to help people lift their eyes to see further. It may mean coming down to their level and leading them further than where they are, or it might mean appreciating that they are at or above our level but just don’t see what we see. Either way, a proactive leader inspires people by doing what needs to be done to focus people on vision and not on problems. It requires an act of humility and love that, instead of saying “Look at me, I’m better then you”, says “Look at me and become better than you are now”.
Could you move people in your world beyond the status quo, the squabbles and the setbacks they face and give them a destination and a road map to get to a better place? It will only work if you are respectful, genuine and inspiring. It certainly won’t work if you are arrogant and assertive.
Is your world able to be improved by being proactive about something today?