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The #1 Leadership Skill of Mature Entrepreneurs: Being Proactive

being proactive conflict resolution leadership managing a business problem-solving Apr 29, 2024
Entrepreneur leading the way with text: The #1 Leadership Skill of Mature Entrepreneurs: Being Proactive
One of the biggest influences on your entrepreneurial adventure will be how you deal with those unexpected challenges and conflicts as you manage your business.
So, think about this: would you describe your leadership style as more reactive or proactive? 
“There are moments where I try to be proactive, but I'm still reactive.” Kerry Zarb
If you’re not sure which one you fall under, read on. 
What is the big difference between being proactive and reactive? Why is it important? And how does being more proactive make you a better entrepreneur and leader? 
Let’s dive into the 3 questions that will take your leadership skills to the next level.

Reactive vs Proactive… What’s The Difference? 

The biggest difference between having a reactive leadership style and being proactive is where your focus lies. Do you tend to focus on the problem or the solution? 
Being reactive comes from focusing on whatever problem has just popped up in your business. Whether it’s a conflict, a tech problem, or a mistake you’ve made along the way. It’s something that puts you at a disadvantage. 
When you are being reactive, these situations send you into a spiral of panic and speed, leaving you a little out of control.
Being proactive means being a problem-solver. It starts with focusing on a potential solution. The goal is always to turn something that seems bad at the moment into something good. 
"Our reaction can be pro-action if we focus on solutions rather than problems.” Kim White
When it comes to managing a business, it’s easy to see that these two styles of dealing with challenges or conflict can have a major impact on your business. 
Whichever one you embrace will send your entrepreneurial adventure off in one of two very different directions. 

How Does Being Proactive Impact Your Business? 

“Our reaction can have a big impact on the process and how everyone feels about it.” Kerry Zarb
The way you handle things in your business has a big impact on those around you - whether that be your business partners, your clients, or your team. 
It has an impact on your relationships with them and it will have an impact on how they handle things. If you react poorly, then you can expect that reaction in other people. 
Think about how mature leaders deal with conflict resolution. Being proactive means focusing on solutions rather than blame. Nobody feels good about being on the receiving end of the blame game, and your clients and team won’t enjoy it either.
Making the shift from being reactive to proactive in your business will have a big impact not only on your leadership skills but also on everyone around you. 

Being Proactive Means Choosing Maturity 

It’s not that being reactive is bad. Your ability to react in the moment works as a safety net for you. 
For example, if you put your hand in a hot oven and then pull it away - that would be a perfect reaction because it stops you from getting burned. If you didn’t have a fast reaction at that moment, your burn would get worse and worse the longer you kept it there. 
But after that’s happened, you have the opportunity to focus on a future solution. You have an opportunity to choose maturity. 
The lesson here is that you shouldn't put your hand in the oven without an oven glove! You've just turned that reaction that saved you into a "pro-action" that will make sure it won't happen again... because now you know that oven is hot and you don't intend to touch it next time.
Sometimes your reaction to something in business is good in that moment. But then later as you reflect you can choose to be more proactive next time by figuring out what kind of “oven glove” you’re going to need in the future. 
“We're all going to be faced with those moments where we've messed up. The question is: how are we going to respond?” Kerry Zarb
Being proactive is a maturing thing. 
As you grow in maturity you become wise enough to notice when something is causing you to react too quickly. 
When you're managing a business you should always be maturing in your leadership skills and making the shift from being reactive to proactive one small step at a time. 
Your reaction to how you handle situations is something you have control over. So remember to look for the solution, rather than focusing on the problem (without dismissing the problem of course). 
Whether you would describe yourself as more reactive or proactive right now, it’s always possible to be working towards maturing as a leader and business owner. That’s how you will have the biggest impact on the people around you and how your business will thrive. 
Our Groundwork Brigade Mastermind is the perfect place to navigate managing a business as a problem-solver with other entrepreneurs choosing to be solutions focused on their entrepreneurial adventures.  
If you missed the conversation between Kim and Kerry on their podcast Buckets and Boom Gates, you can catch it here.
To connect and find out more about Kim or how to create a sexy business for a sexy life, you can reach her and the My Sexy Business Team at 
And to connect with Kerry Zarb go straight to her website and you’ll find her there!