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Boost Your Leadership Skills with Proactive Management

by Michael Murphy / August 24, 2022

Regardless of the type of organization you lead, it’s inevitable that problems that impact your business will arise. Without proper leadership skills to address these issues, a minor issue can eventually escalate into a full-blown crisis.

Proactive management is key to nipping problems in the bud and ensuring that your teams remain productive, and your operations run seamlessly.

In this post, we’ll define what proactive management is, how it works, and offer tips for becoming a proactive manager.

What is Proactive Management?

Proactive management is a flexible leadership style that emphasizes strategic planning and risk management instead of taking a reactive approach to situations and business goals. Managers who practice proactive management seek new opportunities for the business, establish measures to protect against unforeseen problems, and plan for decisions to be made in the future. Proactive management can be implemented in any industry through leadership that emphasizes planning and forward-thinking.

Characteristics of a Proactive Manager

Proactive managers usually portray traits that benefit their organization. Here are some of their attributes:

  • Confidence: Proactive leaders are confident in their planning and decision-making. They usually share that confidence with their team members, who reflect similar assurances.
  • Big Picture Thinkers: Managers who practice proactive leadership often spend most of their time learning from the past and planning for the future. They don’t let themselves get bogged down with the nitty-gritty of the present.
  • Trust-worthy: Proactive managers trust their teams and inspire loyalty from them. They own up to their mistakes and don’t make promises they can’t honor.
  • Excellent Communication Skills: Proactive managers also have good written and spoken skills. They can clearly communicate instructions and share ideas that inspire actions from their team.
  • Active Listening Skills: Proactive managers are willing to listen to the opinions of both their seniors and team. They can detect underlying ideas and thoughts from a team member through careful attention to verbal and non-verbal cues.
  • Critical thinking: A proactive leader can analyze various situations to determine how best to address a challenge or drive a business to success.
  • Flexibility: Proactive managers need to be flexible to adapt to different situations by actively looking into the future to anticipate various problems. Flexible leadership means you’re not constrained by a specific set of rules and are willing to adjust to make the best decision for every circumstance.
  • Down to Earth: A proactive manager is willing to own up to their mistakes and learn from them.
  • Calm within the Storm: Proactive leaders rarely lose control. They can maintain their composure and adjust their position as needed.

How to Implement Proactive Management

There’s no question that today’s leaders need to practice proactive management. The only question is how to implement this leadership style. Below are some ways you can begin implementing proactive management:

Plan for the Future

The first step to implementing proactive management is to judge what may happen to your organization in the future and how you implement changes to attain success. A proactive entrepreneur may make a considerable investment that could result in significant returns for the company. Departmental managers may reorganize their business processes to reflect emerging market trends.

Anticipate Challenges to Minimize Risks

Instead of being reactive to an event, a proactive manager assesses the possible outcomes of various situations to minimize risk. For instance, a proactive manager may foresee a potential loss and avoid investing in a venture. It could also mean a manager noticing a safety concern in the workplace and alerting employees before the accident occurs.

Find New Opportunities

Proactive managers identify new opportunities and take calculated risks. They constantly look for new ways to improve their organization’s bottom line. They may advise executives on which investment opportunities to cease. They may establish a professional development program to help employees adapt to changes in the industry. They may also develop new business models to increase revenue or impact business culture.

Look for Ways of Diffusing Tension

Another way to implement proactive management is to ensure that employees work harmoniously. This entails being on the lookout for any tension between employees, yourself, or coworkers and diffusing it.

Instead of allowing tensions to escalate or frustrations to build, proactive managers communicate with upset employees using empathy to diffuse tension in a situation.

Build Trust with Team Members

Fostering relationships built on trust, honesty, and open communication is a crucial aspect that proactive managers should prioritize. Whether they connect with departmental employees or executive managers, proactive leadership means being the first to offer assistance with projects, appreciating other peoples’ efforts, and demonstrating genuine care for all team members.

Identify Areas that Require Attention

Proactive managers not only seek external growth opportunities but also look inside their organizations to identify areas of need. Proactive managers can find solutions to problems as soon as they arise. They view challenges as an opportunity to make a change that can positively impact the organization.

Develop an Emergency Plan

Proactive managers create plans to deal with every problem that arises. They develop emergency procedures and set contingency plans for issues such as product malfunctions and revenue loss.

Tips for Becoming a Proactive Manager

Below are some tips to help you become more effective in your proactive management:

Develop and Hone Proactive Traits in Your Team Members

Take the time to cultivate proactive traits in your team members via professional development programs. The programs should focus on proactive practices such as strategic planning and risk management. Allocate time for employees to celebrate their initiative and share their ideas. Also, mentor them and allow them to lead projects they envisioned.

Set Clear Expectations

Set clear expectations within the workplace. Explain to your employees why you made various decisions and what those decisions aim to achieve. You should communicate your expectations before a project, in the beginning, or at the start of a new quarter to prepare all team members for the task ahead.

Make time for planning

Proactive management requires a lot of time to plan the organization’s next move. Proactive managers critically think about future situations, so unforeseen problems don’t catch them unprepared.

Create time to strategize possible opportunities and record your ideas. Consider involving others in your planning sessions, more so employees you’re mentoring to become proactive managers.


Today’s dynamic business environment demands that managers practice proactive management, and rightly so. Some of the benefits of proactive management include:

  • Increased productivity of team members
  • Fewer internal conflicts
  • More control over unforeseen situations
  • Accident reduction
  • Job satisfaction among employees
  • Increased business growth as a result of seizing opportunities

Are you ready to start your proactive management leadership journey? Platinum Group is a human capital management resource platform with solutions to help you streamline operations so you’ll have ample time to better manage your business. To learn more about Platinum Group or to schedule a demo of isolved, contact us today. 

Tags: Asheville Payroll teams trust proactive leadership proactive management proactive business

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Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy

Michael is the founder of Platinum Group. His passion is in helping businesses to simplify their employee management and accounting processes.