“What we anticipate seldom occurs; but what we least expect generally happens” Benjamin Disraeli.


‘I have to deal with situations that I know could have been avoided with a bit more thought from my people- it’s so frustrating!’….

I wish my staff would start to pre-empt problems instead of wasting time reacting to them, what can I do?’

How can I get my guys to think about what they’re doing and solve these recurring problems before they happen?’…

If you recognize these thoughts as having passed through    your mind, there is more that you can do to make your people more proactive, than simply putting your sales people on a sales training course, or offering your administration staff a time management training course to attend next week.

1)     Start by leading by example. Book your sales training or time management training dates a few months ahead and start to implement some proactive thinking leading up to the Programme;

2)     Get them to do some self-reflection. It is vital that they are aware of their own performance. This can be done in the form of games and group activities at team meetings, or it can be as simple as asking them the right questions. – Asking them ‘why’ or ‘how’ and getting them to come up with their own answers, set their own goals, or just getting them to think about them is a sure-fire way to kick start proactive thinking.

3)     Provide Information and Intelligence- rather than letting your people walk around with blinkers on, give them that information that is going to widen their view and help them see what’s happening- and what’s likely to happen in the future.

4)     Implement systems and procedures that will help them to plan well- If you give your people the means to be able to act ahead of anticipated events, they are more likely to do so. Provide checklists, systems, procedures or even just ideas. Once people can start to see how efficient they are and where the opportunities are to make life easier, they will start to open up to the possibilities that lie ahead.


The bottom line solution to emphasise to your people is simple. They can stay being ‘reactive’, but do it sooner! So in order to get your staff to put in that extra degree of mental energy to become more proactive for next year, you really must start now.