Leadership Requires Choices. For CEOs, Being Proactive and Creating Clarity are Two of the Best.

Stacey Ashley
2 min readDec 1, 2023

This week I wrapped up a leadership coaching program with one of my wonderful executive coaching clients. As we reviewed his program he summarised his experience and what had changed for him in a single word. Proactive.

I love this because for me, proactive is a key essence of leadership. To actively create the future rather than passively hope that things turn out the way you want them to. Proactivity is about being purposefully constructive, actively making choices, seizing opportunities, and being deliberate about creating the future. For executive leaders, being intentional about determining the future for you, your people, and your organisation.

Be a creator of circumstances rather than just a creature of circumstances. Be proactive rather than reactive.

~ Brian Tracey

Yet sometimes it feels like you are at the mercy of your circumstances, too busy to take control, or feeling overwhelmed, and simply fall into reactive mode. Leadership is about bouncing out of this space as quickly as possible. Being in a highly reactive mode most of the time does not serve you or your leadership responsibilities.

As you approach the end of the calendar year, it is an opportune time to pause and reflect. For many there is a natural break at the end of the year, which is great for rest, recovery and replenishing your energy. Then you can deliberately look forward to the next period. 2024. Decide how you will proactively focus your attention on the things that matter, with renewed energy.

I believe that everyone chooses how to approach life. If you’re proactive, you focus on preparing. If you’re reactive, you end up focusing on repairing.

~ John Maxwell

From the PWC GLOBAL CEO survey, here are some of the areas that global leaders are most focused on.

These are big challenges, and it will take innovative and proactive leadership to find a pathway to the future.

Questions to ponder:
► Which of these areas of challenge require your attention?
► What is your opportunity for proactive leadership?

I’d love to know your thoughts.



Stacey Ashley

Focused on future proofing CEOs, Dr Stacey Ashley CSP is a Leadership Visionary. Stacey is often described as the leader for leaders.