Preventive leadership is not a new concept. In fact, it’s an ancient one dating back at least to the time of ancient Greece. Although the term “preventive’ is relatively new, it’s a more modern interpretation of the old idea that the best leaders are those who prevent a problem from ever arising, rather than those who react when a problem arises.
Preventive leadership is a model of leadership with the objective to prevent problems from occurring. Its values include proactive and systematic approaches to leadership. These elements are the basis of the model established by James F. Petersen in the early 80’s. Petersen’s preventive leadership model is based on a conceptual framework of five components that are critical to successful leadership, which are vision, strategic planning, goal setting, communication, and accountability.
Characteristics of Preventive Leadership
1. Claiming responsibility for failures that occur even when they are due to circumstances beyond the control of leaders, including the absence of necessary resources.
2. Admitting mistakes without blame, correcting them, and
3. Taking early measures to prevent them from happening again.
Role of Preventive Leadership
- Identify your team members’ roles
2. Give quick, effective feedback
3. Make decisions quickly and effectively
4. Create strategy to accomplish goals
5. Stay committed and keep the momentum
To be truly preventive, leaders also need to create an environment that encourages people to take positive risks. In fact, this is one reason why risk management initiatives fail. It is usually not a lack of technology or process that causes them to fail, but a lack of skilled people, engaged in positive risk-taking behaviours.
Much has been written about the importance of preventive leadership in recent years, but the focus is often on what leaders need to do to enhance risk management practices. They need to do this, sure, but they also need to do more. To be truly preventive, leaders also need to create an environment that encourages people to take positive risks. In fact, this is one reason why risk management initiatives fail. It is usually not a lack of technology or process that causes them to fail, but a lack of skilled people, engaged in positive risk-taking behaviours.
Tips for Successful Preventive Leadership
Successful preventive leadership starts with an attitude of lifelong learning. The best way to make an impact is to do everything you can to prevent a problem. As you follow these tips, you’ll have the opportunity to develop the attitudes and skills that will help you to be successful in your career and achieve your leadership goals.
1. Know your job
2. Know your people
3. Know your organization
4. Know your mission
Think of your people as your company’s most valuable asset. The old saying goes: “People don’t leave companies, they leave bosses.” To avoid losing valuable employees, you need to stop thinking of them as a cost and start thinking of them as a vital part of your business.
Here are a few tips for doing just that.
1. Treat employees like human beings.
2. Value their input and time
3. Provide recognition and feedback.
4. Be collaborative.
5. Provide opportunities for growth.
How to Practice Preventive Leadership
1. Make sure you know the facts
2. Preventing problems from arising
3. Avoiding problems that you know about
4. Avoiding problems before they grow too big
5. The best way to make an impact is to do everything you can to prevent a problem
Leadership is not only about making tough decisions, it is also about making good decisions. This is what preventive leadership is all about, making decisions that help you avoid problems in the first place. One area that requires a lot of preventive leadership is the issue of employee retention. If you have a hard time keeping employees from jumping ship to work for your competition, this is an area where you need to apply preventive leadership. Leaders who fail to do so may be regarded as lacking courage and sincerity.
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