Are you a spider or a lion?
By Karen Schmidt
When it comes to change, are you a spider or a lion? Do you sit back like the spider and wait for things to come to you or do you go out and hunt for your opportunities like the lion? When it comes to workplace change we need to have the attitude of the Lion. If we sit back and wait to see what happens we will usually be disappointed. There is an old saying that goes “good things come to those who wait” but today we need to remember that the only things left to those who wait are the things left behind by those who hustle!
In the jungle the “hustlers” are the Lions. They are the kings of the jungle for a good reason. If you want to be the king of your workplace jungle then you need to learn the difference between the spider and the lion. The lion is proactive and the spider is reactive. So what do these terms mean?
A proactive person is someone who understands that they are in control of what happens to them in life. They take initiative and are responsible for their own actions. A proactive person has a high level of self esteem that is not affected by what other people think. Proactive people are driven by their values.
The reactive person is the type with a "wait and see" attitude. They don't actively make decisions or take action but instead react to the decisions and actions of others. They are easily influenced by the behaviour of others and their mood is determined by how others treat them. Reactive people are driven by their emotions.
When it comes to dealing with change, we need to be proactive. If you wait around hoping other people will do things to make the change easier for you then you will be disappointed. Being proactive does not mean you have to be pushy, aggressive or unreasonable. It simply means taking action to make things happen.
Proactive people are the ones who initiate change rather than being the victims of change. If a proactive person doesn’t agree with a change they don’t complain about it. No, they go out and hunt down another way to achieve the same result. In the mean time, the reactive person is using all their energy to fight the change and, lets face it, most of the time they don’t win.
So if you want to take charge of your career what sort of action do you need to take? Here is a list of suggestions that will turn you into a proactive person.
• Make suggestions to your manager on small ways to improve productivity. Little things add up!
• When a mistake happens, be open about it. Then take the time to analyse why it happened and work out ways of preventing it in the future
• Keep up to date with what’s happening in your industry so you can anticipate opportunities
• Develop a network of contacts so that if the worst does happen and you lose your job you will have plenty of new opportunities
If you want to be someone who benefits from change at work learn the lesson of the Lion. Become a proactive person and you will guarantee your success at work well into the future.
About the Author: Karen Schmidt is an award winning professional speaker, workshop leader and author who is on a mission to create fresh workplace attitudes that help people and organisations grow!. Karen believes you can increase productivity and bottom line results if your people have the right attitude in 5 key areas of: work, change, customers, people and managing. To find out more visit
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