Leadership Qualities: Being Proactive…

Photo courtesy of Elena Koycheva on Unsplash.

Being proactive will position you to take advantage of opportunities when they come knocking.

Imagine a country who’s collectivistic culture ensured that no matter where their children were sent, they were raised with the idea of returning to build the homeland.  Such is the story of the Chinese people.  Today, “About 80 percent of Chinese students who get degrees abroad now go back — up from about 33 percent in 2007, according to China’s Ministry of Education.  Some 15 percent take jobs in China’s booming tech sector” (Engel & Werner, 2019; https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/chinas-rising-tech-scene-threatens-u-s-brain-drain-as-sea-turtles-return-home.627127/).  

And, it is also a strong part of the Chinese legacy in Jamaica which began in the 1850s, and continues to open up major trading lines through the recently signed Belt and Road Initiative.  This includes education and training opportunities for hundreds of Jamaicans annually in China, as well as works in Jamaica.  On the island, infrastructure projects are underway in iron and steel, an industrial park and special economic zone, a children’s hospital, two state-of-the-art early-childhood institutions, and the Bright Journey Eye Care Mission performing hundreds of cataract surgeries (Reckord, 2019; https://jis.gov.jm/jamaica-poised-for-more-investments-from-china/). Today there are at least “15 Chinese companies operating in Jamaica with cumulative investments of US$2 billion” (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/15-chinese-companies-operating-in-jamaica_153770?profile=1373).

And, their proactive stance is reaping huge dividends.  In a business sense, “proactive” means “Action and result oriented behavior, instead of the one that waits for things to happen and then tries to adjust (react) to them” (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/proactive.html).  This quality in a leader involves identifying and exploiting opportunities, as well as taking preventative steps against potential problems and threats.  So, in a world where crime is increasing and governments are using more surveillance technology to combat criminals, guess who is positioned to take the lead with a lot of help from an American professor, David Brady of Duke University (https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-a-powerful-spy-camera-invented-at-duke-ended-up-in-chinas-hands-1528714895).

Duke University’s Prototype Gigapixel Camera Creates Super Hi-Res Photos

Proactive leadership is useful in every facet of life, not just crime fighting.  So, proactive leaders employ a multifaceted approach which involves:

  1. Knowing where they are going
  2. Prioritizing what’s important 
  3. Saying no often
  4. Limiting the number of decisions they have to make every day ; and,
  5. Intentional about who they spend time with (Clark, 2017; (https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/06/13/five-tradeoffs-proactive-leaders-make-every-day/#6abcc9f45a1e).

You cannot do everything!  You cannot be everywhere!  So, reimagine where you want to go and get moving!

(Mitchell, 2019).

If you are stuck, you can find some answers in Dear Little Brother, … and Dear Little Sister, … and more at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emOifCZt7dg .

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