The 4 Laws of Proactive Behavior (taken from The Lost Art of Leadership by Dr. James Richards)
- I will act before there is a problem
- When there is no rule, I will act in accordance with the goals and philosophies of the team
- I am driven by the values and goals of the team; and not personal ego or agenda.
- I will act without being told.
Richards is perhaps best known for Grace: The Power to Change, which I feel is a must read, but I also really enjoyed The Lost Art of Leadership. We recently took our Oasis Granger Ministry Team Leaders through these principles and it continues to be something that I keep coming back to. In this book, Richards shares the difference between Proactive people and Reactive people. Reactive people are only responding to situations and never anticipating situations. They only change something when there is a problem. They are crisis management focused, instead of managing things as to avoid the crisis. Perhaps the most impactful comment that he made, was in regards to responsibility. He said that every problem is a leadership problem. In our world of “blame games”, this registers as foreign, but I agree, that true leadership is willing to assume the responsibility, not necessarily for blame (that’s not the issue), but rather for change. If there is a problem, a true leader will find a way to make it right.