Most recent

Are you a forward-thinking leader or reactive leader?

By Tom Skeen

Looking ahead, anticipating, having a visionary-mindset and planning for the future are just some words or phrases that describe a forward-thinking leader. This type of thinking is done when developing new products or services or to anticipate and plan for favorable or potentially unfavorable outcomes.

It has always been and will always be a characteristic of a successful leader – especially in Information Technology.

A reactive leader finds him/herself navigating through tactical solutions to mitigate unplanned undesirable situations over and over again. In the end, the reactive leader finds that they never have time to plan accordingly.

It’s important to develop specific attributes when being a forward-thinking leader in Information Technology.
Below are 8 basic questions to ask yourself.

  1. Are you managing your risk?
  2. Do you have a diverse team?
  3. Do you have short and long term goals?
  4. Do you find that less than desirable temporary solutions become permanent fixes?
  5. Are you able to unify your team(s) on common goals?
  6. Do you listen to opposing views and share information?
  7. Are you a yes man?
  8. Do you execute?

Managing risk was intentionally put first of the list because having an environment that is “not secure” and has “high risk” will lead you to one tactical solution after another, prevent you from meeting your short and long term goals and turn you into a reactive IT leader very fast. You must manage your risk.

Develop a plan, test the plan (over and over in different ways); stay true to your goals while remaining agile so you are adjusting as market conditions dictate; guide, listen and unify your team; when you don’t agree with something explain your view (others are looking for opposing views too); share information often and EXECUTE EXECUTE EXECUTE.

In today’s age of cyber attacks occurring daily, you and your customers cannot afford for you to be a reactive leader. The liability is too high and customers have many choices in where they bank, where they shop for goods and services and most of all where they spend their money.

Don’t be “that” reactive leader – too many people are relying on you!

All posts