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Are you Proactive or Reactive?

June 27, 2012

Like Al Pacino in the movie “Insomnia” I suffer this disorder a lot, though not for the same reasons as he did. Some time back I suffered this and my mind went wandering……Do you ever wonder why we are such a reactive people as opposed to being proactive?

Take our governments for example – why do they wait for disaster to strike before they act on something? For instance, in Dar Es Salaam, the building traffic jams, aren’t they going to become a major hindrance to business operations in the very near future? What is the government doing about this? And there is something being done, is it enought? What about the issue of mushrooming skyscrapers all over the city of Dar? Are these buildings being equipped with ample parking space for their occupants and their visitors? Or are we going to see more parking chaos in the city? What about the issue of electricity and water (lack of)?

But all these are child's play; the greatest nightmare for me right now, is living with the thought that more bombs might go off at the remaining armories in Dar Es Salaam….. Remember Mbagala and Gongo La Mboto? Can someone please start being proactive as opposed to being reactive with this issue? Let’s leave the government for now... their work is cut out for them.

Then we have another category called “Employers”. If you ask them, majority will tell you that their greatest asset is the customer… How wrong they are! Without your employees, what would you do with your customers? Who will receive that call when the client calls your organization? Who will offer your customer the service they require when they visit your office? Should the client encounter problems with your service, who will offer them support? So now I ask again, as an employer, what is your greatest asset in your company?
If they had the right answers, we would not be seeing the mass exoduses we keep seeing in organizations; people moving from one company to another in search of greener pastures. Instead, we would have employees finding greener pastures right within the company. Question to you Mr Employer is, do you ever take time to let your employees know that they are your greatest assets? If today someone else came along and offered them a better package, would they take it or would they decline the offer to stay loyal to you? Do not wait until you see your best employee’s resignation letter for you to think of giving them a raise, or improve their working environment, or sponsor their professional courses, or offer them a fully paid holiday…….. It all comes down to the same question – are you reactive or proactive?
Then there is the flip-side to the employer’s situation; Employees. Picture this, an employee is offered an opportunity to work in company ABC for a particular pay. He/she willingly signs the contract and pledges to work as per the terms of the contract. As days go by, laxity takes over and performance goes down, but the salary still remains the same. This laxity comes in many ways….taking an example of what I have seen with my own eyes here in Dar, it is very rare for an organization to have a complete month without having one of its employees pulling the famous “naumwa” move. If not that, someone will be going for some neighbour’s funeral if not kitchen party…. The list of excuses needs a database to accommodate them. Coming back to the key question, if an employer who has employees of this nature decides to let go of them, who would blame him for doing this? Alternatively, what if the employer decides not to give such person a raise as the rest are being upgraded? Or denies them an annual bonus at the end of the year while the rest are being rewarded? At that point, how will the employee react? My point exactly – why react when you could have been proactive in the first place???
Let’s come back to the basics. Relationships. In this case am not talking about relationships between siblings, or with parents, or with neighbours and co-workers. No. I mean people who are dating, married, living together, engaged, etc. Do you remember the first time you saw the person you are with now? What attracted you to them? What attracted them to you? How open and comfortable were you with each other then? Do you still feel the same? If not, what happened? What could you have done different given the opportunity?  All these questions answered correctly could help many an ailing relationships. But then again, are those concerned proactive or reactive?
Last but not least, a friend of mine Sam Gichuru once said on one of his very sensible status messages on facebook “God brings amazing people into our lives…. sometimes, they may not be exactly what we want, but they are exactly what we need because we never really know what we want anyway” …… This statement applies to every aspect of our lives; right from the bedroom to the boardroom.
We should all start being proactive, and put a stop to being reactive.



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