New Horizons in Management series
Chapter 2: Traits and behaviors associated with the proactive personality
Although proactivity is a personality trait of profound significance for the individual and the organization, it exists among other related traits and behaviors. For example, the proactive worker might also have a high standing on the trait of conscientiousness, and be motivated by an internal drive to perform meaningful and exciting work. A good example of the complexity of the proactive personality is legendary hedge fund manager, Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates. When asked about making investment decisions, he said, “I’m very big on having clarified principles. I don’t believe in being reactive. You can’t do that in the markets effectively. I can’t. I need perspective. I need a game plan.” Dalio’s comments could be interpreted to mean that he is proactive and also uses a series of goals to achieve the end results he wants. In this chapter we explore several of the personality traits linked to the proactive personality as well as several of the major behaviors, including being a good organizational citizen, setting goals, and enhanced interpersonal relationships. Initiative, one of the major behaviors associated with proactivity, receives separate treatment in Chapter 3.
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