What Makes a Proactive Leader?

What Makes a Proactive Leader?

The Proactive Leader Mindset

WHEN AT A NETWORKING EVENT, THE QUESTION “WHAT DO YOU DO?” COMES UP. WHEN THE RESPONSE IS, “I AM A PROACTIVE BUSINESS COACH;” THE INTRIGUED AND SOMETIMES CONFUSED RESPONSES MADE ME REALIZE THIS NEEDED FURTHER EXPLANATION:

What Makes a Proactive Leader?

The Proactive Leader is Data Informed

The proactive leader brings in all information, team member insight and data reporting so that issues can be properly troubleshooted to resolve the issue. They gather information to identify possible issues and avoid them if possible or create processes to mitigate them. This style of leadership assesses information from multiple sources. In short, the goal of the proactive leader is to eliminate stress in the workplace by promoting a communication and collaboration strategy that promotes teamwork and accountability.

The Proactive Leader is a Communicator.

The proactive leader relies on input from all team members. The person at the lowest level may have an idea that eliminates stress for everyone on the team. The proactive leader has consistent one on one meetings with team members.

What can a toothpaste company teach us about Proactive Leadership? 

A good example of these two approaches is from a company that manufactures toothpaste. This company often dealt with an issue with the caps to the tubes of their toothpaste that was often broken. This caused customer complaints and customer service had to continue to manage the issue. Management reacted by providing customer compensations and even attempted to find another provider for the caps to their toothpaste. 

But this resulted in countless hours being spent in attempts to resolve the issue. Coincidentally, this issue was known by a member of the team that had never been asked. One day in the factory lunchroom the operator of the machine that installed the caps was telling another coworker, “If they just changed the PSI to the machine from 14 pounds to 12 pounds, this would tighten the cap sufficiently but not to where it broke.” The operator knew that the issue that was being experienced by the customers and taking up so much time from management was a simple fix. Fortunately, a manager overheard this and took the suggestion to the management meeting. The adjustment was made, and the issue was corrected.  

Had management been in communication with its team, they could have been provided vital info that would have discovered this issue and resolved it in a much more timely and cost-effective manner. The solution is not where it is corrected within the process. The cause happens earlier in the process than when it is revealed.