There are several great books about leadership, success and how to be a winner. Most people have probably heard of the 7 Steps of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. While I love the entire book and all of the steps, Step 1 is what I am talking about today; Be Proactive.

Life is about choices. Good choices bring good consequences, while bad choices bring bad consequences. This is a simple fact that most of us were taught as children, and that we hope to instill in our own children. Some may disagree with this point, but to me, it is a simple fact. Consider the following examples:

Reactive

After spending anywhere from 2-30 years in the military where I have a great time and do great things and/or get hurt, I think about looking for a job (once rested up & healed up).

  • Step 1– Build a resume.

John Doe| Army – 1993-2013|Infantry|Education: HS Diploma, 58 College credit hours.

  • Step 2– Apply to a million Jobs
  • Step 3– Get discouraged
  • Step 4– Be Reactive to bills, food, health, joy, fun, spouse, kids, etc…

Proactive

After spending anywhere from 2-30 years in the military, where I have a great time and do great things and/or get hurt, I start my new job (once rested up & healed up).

  • Step 1– Complete degree, Licensure, certification and education, distance learning, online college, or traditional campuses if available using Tuition Assistance and Military Discounts and Scholarships.
  • Step 2– Network, build resume and update skills as one dedicated as a lifelong learner.

John Raymond Doe, PMP| US Army- Senior Operations Manager Managed 8 entry and mid- career professionals to achieve goals set that resulted in zero at fault loss to staff or property. 1993-2013|Education: Bachelors of Science, Business Management, Summa cum Laude.

  • Step 3– Provide resumes to professional contacts and connections, execute 5 rehearsed Interviews with references demonstrating advantages to company by hiring me over the next guy. 
  • Step 4– Start Job, pay bills, attend doctor visits as needed, feel fulfilled, enjoy healthy relationships, and then pay it forward to the next Veteran.

As you can see from the examples listed above- Reactive is the result of “Choices” the same way Proactive is the result of “Choices.” The good news is that one can change behavior at any time to stop being reactive and Be Proactive.

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Published on Nov. 13, 2013

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