March 23

How to be Proactive not Reactive

How to be Proactive not Reactive

By Deborah Johnson

March 23, 2019

Goals, hero mountain, leadership, management, proactive, purpose, women at halftime

Be Proactive

Reflecting back on my journey leading a non-profit organization this past year has affirmed the importance of being proactive in an organization.  Some thesaurus definitions emphasize the aggressive nature of the term proactive, but I like to focus on the qualities of initiative and foresight. Heading off potential problems and impending train wrecks is much more feasible with a proactive approach using communication and perception.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, in their report on ageing of nuclear power plants, emphasize the importance of proactive management of plants. Proactive management of ageing as a key element in ensuring the safe and reliable operation of the plants. This particular report came out in 2009, but rings truer even today.

Minimize Downtime

Minimizing downtime is crucial, whether it’s for utilities and power plants in keeping generators running or for business in keeping a steady flow of income and revenue. Software solutions are now more available than ever for scheduling equipment maintenance and repairs. On the other hand, for a small business, new software options are popping up every day to be proactive and choosing the best for your business can be overwhelming.

Even though I tend to love gadgets and new technical advances, the wisest proactive approach for my business is to focus on essential tools. There are essential tools I’ve found that will minimize downtime, head off potential problems and move my business ahead on solid ground. These tools are in addition to current websites and tech help on the back end. That is a given. For specific details and links to tools I currently use, see

Be proactive- Giving back


TOOL ONE to be Proactive: Email Newsletter-List platform. I have changed platforms a couple times throughout the years, but every one I choose has the capabilities of importing and exporting an email list and inserting tags and categories. I also choose one with automation so I can schedule it in advance. There are many to choose from. I personally like including some graphics but know that some get higher open rates with no graphics in the actual email. At the minimum, you need some sort of platform.

TOOL TWO to be Proactive: Social Media Scheduler. Once I added this, it was a game-changer for me. I now have my virtual assistant schedule posts that I create across Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I still spend the time creating and managing but having posts with hashtags scheduled proactively is an approach that keeps the work I do top of mind.

TOOL THREE to be Proactive: Graphic Design Tool. This is a must, even if you normally don’t do your own design. Part of good management is the ability to understand how to do the task that needs to be done and provide the resources and direction to be able to complete it successfully. Find something easy to use. Many of these tools are completely free.

TOOL FOUR to be Proactive: Cloud or Other Backup Storage. This is also a must. All it takes is one time for a hard drive that is not backed up to put panic into this step. I like both the combination of the cloud and separate hard drives as I have large video and sound files. I have learned by experience the value of placing a backup of my presentation on the cloud, especially if a hard-drive goes out when I’m across the country. (this has happened!) It creates access I can immediately download and immensely decreases my amount of stress immensely!

TOOL FIVE to be Proactive: Video and MP3 transcription tool. If you are using keywords to increase traffic from seaches, which you should, including the video or sound script using those keywords will give you higher search volume. Many of these tools still take editing but come in handy with longer interviews that are not scripted.

There are many more tools and gadgets popping up daily, but these are some that I use the most. As much as I’d love to offload as much as possible to an assistant, I’m very hands-on with many of these tools, especially at the beginning of projects. This helps me to manage any outside work most-effectively and accurately. I hope you find something that will help you as well!

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Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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