Is your reactionary leadership getting in the way of your success?

Is your reactionary leadership getting in the way of success?With many years of working with job seekers as a professional resume writer and career strategist, I see patterns in leadership styles and I learn why some people are not able to stay employed in leadership roles. One of the things I have observed is the difference between reactionary leaders and proactive critical thinkers.

Sometimes people who lead with a reactionary leadership styles are totally unaware that this is their style. They think they are proactive leaders but if they were on the outside looking in, they would see the signs of leadership that has gone awry. While the reactionary leader will survive for a while if not challenged, they may be the first ones out the door when someone who uses a critical thinking leadership style evaluates their success.

What is reactionary leadership?

  • A reactionary leader is quick to respond when something happens.
  • A reactionary leader prides themselves on taking charge at the first sign of a problem.
  • A reactionary leader often fails to do an in-depth analysis of the situation to see all of the alternative solutions.
  • A reactionary leader is often defensive of their actions and choices.

What are the consequences of reactionary leadership?

  • The reactionary leader will often take offensive action without considering the effect on the team or the customers.
  • A reactionary leader often ignores the advice of other team members whose see the issue from a different perspective.
  • A reactionary leader is easily misled by wrong advice because they don’t do the homework or seek wise counsel.
  • The reactionary leader may lose opportunities for promotions.
  • The reactionary leader may be benched when new projects come up.
  • The reactionary leader may be terminated more quickly because they are resistant to coaching.

How do you change from a reactionary leadership style to a proactive critical thinker?

  • Do your homework on every project looking for opportunities for long-term efficiencies and growth.
  • Don’t blame others for your choices. Be accountable for your actions when you make the wrong choice.
  • Calculate the cost of change, not only from the project side but the effect on your customers and your team.
  • Build in contingency planning. Anticipate what will go wrong and plan how to budget to fix it.
  • Give your team autonomy and empower them. I haven’t met anyone yet who enjoys being micro managed and I have met many strong leaders who rebel against micromanagement.
  • Learn the work styles of your team members. Many people think you can manage everyone exactly the same way. People are different and react better with different management styles.
  • Don’t use the cheapest alternative with the people you hire, software system you buy, or the materials you select. Investment creates value.
  • Leading doesn’t mean bossing. Today’s proactive and critical thinking leader empowers people and builds teams using the strengths of everyone on the team.

If you are struggling to land and keep your management or executive leadership roles, think about your leadership style and decide if you need to move from a reactionary leadership style to a proactive, critical thinking leadership style.

Julie Walraven is a triple-certified resume writer whose interactive coaching style helps you as a job seeker win new leadership roles after she creates tactical resumes and LinkedIn profiles to market you for success. Learn more here.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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