I want to take a second to assert a disclaimer here. Success is relative. Success is measured by what you set. I don’t think there’s a universal rule that tells us what success is, and my idea of success is likely different than your idea of success. With that to say, you may take this post in the context of what you define as success.
I believe strongly in proactivity. I, and I think most people honestly, hate being reactive. Reactivity is when you are in a constant state of only reacting to situations. You only move if something comes up. Proactivity, on the other hand, is meeting challenges and making progress before anything even comes up. Proactivity focuses mostly on strategic planning and growth; it’s all about strategy at the proactive level.
You can’t be purely proactive, but I believe you can be purely reactive. There’s nothing more frustrating (to me) than a purely reactive leader. You know the one. Everything is urgent and time sensitive (“it needs to be done now, now, now!”), but nothing is important. Because your leader is reactive, you’re stuck in reactivity as well trying to address problems and put out small nuisance fires before they spread. This is no way to operate.
Healthy leadership is being proactive. Recognizing potential problems and incorporating them into your strategic plans. You can’t foresee everything (hence why one cannot be purely proactive), but you can prepare for a wide variety of things. As a proactive person, you spend most of your time doing important things that are not necessarily urgent, which gives you plenty of margin to handle issues as they come along.
It’s not easy switching to proactivity. You still have a ton of small fires that you need to put out on a daily basis, but you can start taking baby steps. This will add a little bit of work to your schedule, but once the transition to proactivity is complete, you will find you have more productive time.