Fundamental #18 – Be proactive. Each of us plays a role in the series of steps necessary to deliver value to our customers. Understand how your work affects that of your teammates and make sure your output sets them up for success. Solve problems before they happen by anticipating future needs and addressing them today. Preventing issues is always more effective than fixing them.
Proactive business owners have a powerful, significant competitive advantage. They are flexible, adaptable and focused on continually improving their level of customer service, productivity, efficiency and workplace environments. Proactive organizations are a step ahead of the game. Rather than wait for circumstances to dictate their actions, they change long before risks materialize. Competitors find it difficult to keep up because proactive organizations undergo continuous self-improvement even during good times, when other organizations might rest on their laurels. Proactive organizations are also cost-effective. By honing their performance to increase productivity and efficiency and by dealing with small problems before they develop into bigger problems. All of these help to increase their competitiveness.
Reactive owners never maximize the potential of their businesses because they postpone change until it’s absolutely necessary — and perhaps too late. Reactive organizations don’t change until situations force them to act. For example, a new competitor might force a company to remain competitive and find ways to improve its performance. Or a company might wait for an economic crisis before it researches ways to increase productivity and cut costs. By waiting, and by failing to anticipate major developments, reactive organizations put themselves at risk: Sooner or later, aggressive competitors overtake slow-moving companies.
When you walk through the doors at Webco each morning you have a choice, be proactive or reactive. I challenge each and every one of you to be the type of proactive owner described above. As employee owners we owe it to each other! Since opening the doors in 1980, 34 years ago, Webco has survived competitive threats, economic inflation, the 9/11 attacks that forced our economy to a crawl and, most recently, the great recession. Many others in our industry did not survive these events and closed their doors. Webco did not survive these events by chance. Webco survived by being proactive! History tells us that we will have threats to our company in the future, just as we have in the past. We need to make sure that we are all doing our part to be proactive, be focused and be prepared for another 34 years!
“I believe that everyone chooses how to approach life. If you’re proactive you focus on preparing. If you’re reactive you end up focusing on repairing”. – John C. Maxwell- Author
– Mike Johnson