Importance of the proactive rower
A galley is a type of ship that is propelled mainly by oars. The galley is characterized by its long, slender hull, shallow draft, and low freeboard. Virtually all types of galleys had sails that could be used in favorable winds, but human effort was always the primary method of propulsion. This allowed galleys to navigate independently of winds and currents.
They remained the dominant type of vessels used for war and piracy in the Mediterranean Sea until the last decades of the 16th century. They were the first ships to use heavy cannons as anti-ship weapons effectively.
One of the most common mistakes in comprehending the galley’s history was that the rowers were enslaved. Today, we realize that it couldn’t be practical and, in some cases, even dangerous for the fleet.
It had to be free (or freed) people that would feel a part of the mission, proactive in getting results.
Likewise, in digital products, we prefer colleagues to be proactive and feel ownership.
We can’t free our colleagues from slavery, but we could help them to be more as described above.
Proactive Employee Definition:
There are people at work who wait for directions before they do anything. But there are also people at work who are proactive. Proactive employees are individuals who act as opposed to reacting. In other words, they don’t sit around and wait for something to happen. Instead, they make something happen.
Proactive Employee Characteristics:
Able to plan for the future – they are thinking about what can be done tomorrow to get their job done well. They keep a to-do list that tells them exactly what needs to be done without anyone having to micromanage them.
Engaged – they do not sit around observing what others do but take the initiative on their own to get something finished.
They have foresight, being able to anticipate things before they can occur.
They prevent. They work hard to think about what problems might occur and what they can do now to prevent them from arising in the future.
They are doers. In other words, they are not procrastinators and take immediate action to do what needs to be done and hold themselves accountable for their actions (or lack thereof).
How to get proactive colleagues?
In this case, the direction is straightforward – give people feel like an essential part of your team. Let them be a part of the decisions on what should be done and how to conduct it.
Expose your team to your clients and colleagues “on the other side.”
Ensure the above is not only a slogan but a part of how things work here.
In the abstract, give the people the opportunity to be proactive and observe the results and achievements. Celebrate achievements, and remember always to thank, even for small accomplishments.
Do you like proactive people in your workplace? Is it a rarity, in your opinion?