• Foreseeing and intervening in anticipation of future needs or changes
  • Initiating and preparing beforehand rather than reacting afterwards
  • Taking steps ahead of time based on training, knowledge and experience


Consider the wonder that is football. Every weekend in the fall has glorious match-ups between teams that have (give or take) a single week in between games to prepare for the next opponent. Proactive coaches and staff will spend time reviewing video of their opponents, watching their own video of the last game, looking at which plays will be best suited for the team they face, maintaining equipment and facilities, and coordinating practicing to get ready for the game. Players that are being proactive will spend their time lifting weights, running, studying the playbook, hydrating and throwing down an insane number of calories.

Being proactive will go a long way to changing the course of a game, long before the game starts. But there are some things that don’t go on before the game – like the kickoff. A pre-game kick-off wouldn’t be a stunning trick play. It wouldn’t be proactive, it would only be silly. It wouldn’t be proactive to send your offense out to run plays while the other team still has the ball. In the 2013 season, there were 530 penalties for false starts in professional football, for over 2500 yards. A false start isn’t the result of the offense being too proactive, actually it works to move the ball the wrong way, five yards at a time.

Being proactive is not simply doing what you need to do sooner. Being Proactive enables you to do what you need to do, when you need to do it.

The E-rate FY 2015 Eligible Services List was finalized this week – the last week of October 2014. With each passing day we draw closer to the beginning of the filing window, which unfortunately isn’t yet set. The opportunity to do things sooner in the E-rate timeline is fleeting.

But don’t fret! Being proactive is just as much about being ready to act as it is about acting. So you can’t post your Form 470 yet? But are you ready to? Don’t know when you will have your finalized NSLP eligibility data? Not a problem, if you are ready to process it when it’s done!

Take the time now to be ready for what comes next. Sometimes you’ll see it coming, and sometimes it’s a surprise, but having a well-practiced, proactive plan will help you either way.


Key words and phrases
Acting in anticipation; Causing something to happen; Taking steps based on experience; Foreseeing; Preparing beforehand; Intervening ahead of time; Initiating instead of reacting; Farsighted planning and action

Opposite terms
Shortsighted; Reactionary; Improvident; Myopic


GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides
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