Be Proactive

If you haven’t read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey, do so.  Not only do the seven habits have the ability to change your perspective on life, it will also benefit you professionally.  Managers can take away valuable information from the seven habits discussed in Covey’s book.  From a series of posts, you will have reliable content of how to structure your personal life and professional life to implement beneficial change. 

The first habit in Covey’s book is Be Proactive and managers need to do more than just scratch the surface of this principle.  Being proactive is directly correlated with responsibility and taking initiative, not just following directions.  From Covey’s book he states:

Look at the word responsibility – “response-ability” – the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling (71).  

What does this mean to managers, simple, be proactive not reactive.  Instead of being dependent on company directives and tasks, become independent in making managerial decisions.  Managers who are proactive are conveying their value to their employees, which discretely differentiates them from managers that are just swimming with the current.  Reactive managers are consumed by their environment, whereas proactive managers make value based decisions and responses.  Effective managers do not wait around until someone else comes up with the optimal decision, they challenge themselves in taking initiative and add their value in the decision making process. 

Far too many managers ride shotgun in their management positions, when instead they need to get behind the wheel. Discover your value and what you want to contribute to the company you work for and deliver it by means of engaging and motivating your employees Communicating to your staff what you represent will be a successful tool in getting the response from your employees that you desire.  Lead by example and do not be afraid to take risks, even if there is a slight probability of success.  Effective managers are confident in what they represent and will consistently defend it if necessary.  I constantly tell my employees to not let external stimuli influence their attitude because it will negatively impact their performance, lower morale, lower productivity, inhibit communication, and cloud their own value.  DMs and GMs want to see management being proactive and it is those managers who come up on the radar first.


About Benjamin Fry

I will graduate in December with a degree in business management at the University of Nevada, Reno. I have held multiple management positions at my current company, Sports Authority. Continuing to further my KSAs in management, motivation and leadership. I feel it necessary to break down the barrier that younger management and older management have built between themselves. With my experience, I plan to aid managers from all ages to understand how to integrate various management styles in order to make businesses more efficient.
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