Alex Only learned the hard way that leaders need to be proactive rather than reactive. To be proactive means acting on something before it turns into a crisis, whereas being reactive involves responding to previous events instead of planning for future ones. Alex Only has some advice on shifting to be a more effective and innovative leader, thanks to skills like expecting the unexpected, critical thinking, and better listening.
Proactive leaders think long-term, not short-term. After all, companies set goals in terms of years, so it is crucial to think in a similar time frame. Being proactive means understanding the big picture and being prepared for outside events to impact your business. Alex Only credits becoming a proactive leader to successfully navigating the global pandemic. As he had measures in place in the event such an emergency came up, the company was able to adapt quickly and effectively.
Another characteristic of proactive leaders is that they tend to be empathetic. To lead is to influence, and you must understand people in order to do this. Alex Only makes it a point to know the goals, ambitions, and weaknesses of his team members to help them perform at full capacity. This is not done with a micromanagement approach but with respect and compassion.
Being reactive can entail losing your cool. While everyone has a breaking point, Alex Only knows that a good leader stays calm and does not exhibit inappropriate workplace behavior. A proactive leader displays a quiet demeanor and a great deal of emotional intelligence. Remember, the goal is to lead by example and maintain the respect of others in even the toughest of situations. Not to mention, being reactive can result in some terrible decisions.
Alex Only credits the transition from reactive to proactive for not just being a better leader but a better person. Challenging situations can arise in any facet of life, but to get through them, a person needs to control that situation, not the other way around.