Work on the Business and Not Just in the Business 0

Posted On April 19, 2022, by Admin

We’ve come to live in a rapidly-changing business world that requires keeping up to maintain your business. You’re bound to come across problems regardless of what line of work you’re in. While there’s no denying you’ll have to face and solve them somehow, the route you take to deal with these issues is what matters most.

To that end, this article will discuss the topic of proactive vs. reactive leadership in business, explain the importance of choosing the former, and explore how you can do so.

Proactive vs. Reactive Leadership

Unfortunately, problems are not unusual when leading or managing a business, as we’ve mentioned before. How one person views and deals with these problems indicates their business leadership qualities. In simpler terms — it separates the proactive from the reactive business leaders or managers.

Proactive leaders will try to put themselves and their businesses ahead of the game. That is, they’ll invest efforts in strategizing and planning before any problems arise. As a result, proactive leaders or managers should avoid dealing with predictable and preventable problems and prepare to identify and solve the ones that aren’t.

On the other hand, reactive business leadership or management does not involve thinking that far ahead. Reactive business leaders and managers only deal with problems once they surface. Consequently, they’re forced to focus on issues as they come up and fail to see the full picture. So, they often get overwhelmed and lose track of their business goals and objectives while they are fighting fires.


Why Is Proactivity in Business So Important?

There’s a rather famous saying you must have heard at least once. It goes: “Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” Well, the importance of proactive business leadership/management is perfectly reflected in the meaning behind this saying.

Being proactive as a leader or manager allows your business to develop and progress over time. It keeps you on top of your game, well-versed in your business field, familiar with your competitors, and abreast of all relevant developments. This type of knowledge allows you to work as productively as possible with your team, identify your business goals, strategize, and effectively implement those strategies.

In a nutshell, if you’ve ever wondered how to become a successful business leader — the answer lies in proactivity.


Becoming a Proactive Business Leader or Manager

Like any other business development strategy, the proactive approach to business leadership or management entails certain steps. For the sake of better understanding, we’ve divided them into two groups — internal and external.

Internal Proactive Leadership Steps

Internal proactive leadership is related to the practices you use within your business’s organization. They correspond to how you regard your employees and work with your team. We’ve listed and outlined the most important ones below:

  • Respect and trust your team— It’s paramount that leaders and/or managers show respect for their teams in order to establish a culture of trust in their business. They can do that by showing respect for each individual employee and for the team as a collective. More precisely, they can do so by:
    • being honest and transparent,
    • appreciating and respecting their time when identifying expectations and agreeing on deadlines,
    • listening and being open to their ideas and solutions,
    • consulting and collaborating, and
    • providing and asking for feedback regularly.
  • Evaluate your team’s performance — Make sure you stay current on the performance of different departments in your team and your team as a whole. You can do that by creating a system to analyze their work and progress and sharing your findings with them. This will allow you to nip business problems in the bud, help your team members reach their full potential, and facilitate business growth in the long run.
  • Run regular pre-mortems with your team— Organize meetings before you start working on all significant projects or initiatives. Pre-mortems are part of a managerial strategy in which you imagine the project you’re about to work on has failed and try to deduce what may have led to that failure. These meetings can help you identify the greatest risks you might run, find gaps in your plan, and decide on skills, strategies, and techniques you need to implement to prevent these issues.

External Proactive Leadership Steps

External proactive leadership has to do with external problems and risks your business might run into. The following techniques should help you prepare to weather the inevitable storms of the business world:

  • Take heed of your progress thus far— Look at how your business has developed so far, and take note of changes, deviations, mistakes, and successes. This applies to different areas of your business. It can help you avoid issues, cut problems at their root, and save time, effort, and money.
  • Prepare for change— Consider unexpected and rapid changes when making business plans for the future. So, make a note of all potential problems, small and big, anticipate your future needs, and organize and prepare your team to face and respond to any situation. Experts suggest that taking an agile approach with hard limits can help your business be less affected by failure and mistakes. Change is hard, not changing is devastating.
  • Keep an eye on your competition— Stay abreast of your industry’s latest business trends and learn to capitalize on them. This involves keeping up with your competition’s business strategies and moves, learning from your clients through feedback and behaviour, and prioritizing your goals.
  • Seek and grab new opportunities— Be on the constant hunt for new opportunities your business can benefit from. These can be conferences or speaking engagements where you can meet and establish connections with your industry’s influential persons and firms. This way, you can direct your team and business effectively to generate growth and profit in the future.


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This blog is not meant to provide specific advice or opinions regarding the topic(s) discussed above. Should you have a question about your specific situation, please discuss it with your GBA advisor.

GBA LLP is a full-service accounting firm in the Greater Toronto Area, but we primarily service all of Ontario as well as the rest of Canada virtually, except Quebec. Our team of over 30, provides Audits and Reviews of financial statements, and Compilations of financial information, as well as corporate tax returns.  We provide specialized corporate tax and succession planning for small and medium businesses, in addition to general advisory services.

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