​​PROACTIVE
  • 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
COMMENTARY:
On the Funds for Learning Website E-rate applicants can subscribe to a service called E-rate Manager. One part of that web application allows an applicant to prepare their forms 471 for submission during the annual filing window. In early 2017 I was given a challenge which went something like this: make the system for building 471s 40% better in 8 days. At first, I was incredulous at being given a task where it seemed there was no way to succeed. But after meeting with some folks and getting their ideas, we were able to put some changes in place. I wasn't particularly proud of the work and wasn't sure that the changes were really that significant, but those who worked with the system were pleased.
 
But once the 2017 filing window ended, I resolved to make some changes that would have a much bigger impact for the following year (that is, the upcoming FY2018 filing window). And I didn't wait. It's not comfortable to be in that position where you have a whole lot to do and just a little time to do it. So, I got cracking on the changes for the FY2018 filing window right after the FY2017 filing window closed. I was able to make some significant improvements more or less at my own pace, and now the system is more or less ready for the upcoming window.
 
This is kind of an extreme example of being proactive. It is not often that I have a need or desire to work on something eight or so months before it is needed. And one possible downfall of doing things this way is that there is a chance that the situation will have changed during that time or I'll have more information available to me, such that I may have to alter or undo some of the work that I did all those months ago. But in just about any situation, being a little proactive can go a long way, saving you some stress and headaches later down the road. So why not give being proactive a try?
 
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
 
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