Foundations, Relationships

Leadership Perspective: Reverse Paradigms, Responding vs. Reacting

The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.

– George Bernard Shaw

React RespondYes, there is a difference. Is been said that the difference in reacting and responding is about 10 seconds. Our normal animal behavior is to react to defend ourselves. The learned response is from our developed cortex brain. We must learn to override our instincts to react by thoughtful and intentional strategies for responding to whatever comment or situation that has promoted our attention. Reacting is following another person’s lead, it’s not leading. Taking charge of the situation is leading. The leader defines the culture, the terms of engagement and the anxiety level by their thinking. Reacting is typically not a thinking interaction. Leaders often make a situation worse by reacting.

Here’s a short list of the reverse paradigms:


  • Reptilian Brain
  • Emotional
  • Defensive
  • Instinct
  • Conditioned
  • Immediate
  • Irresponsible
  • Walls
  • Fear Based
  • Victim Mentality
  • Competitive
  • Avoidance
  • Wounded


  • Cortex Brain
  • Thoughtful
  • Engaging
  • Conscious Choice
  • Choice
  • Delayed
  • Responsible
  • Boundaries
  • Relationship Based
  • Self Control Mentality
  • Cooperative
  • Encounter
  • Healthy

Being an enlightened and effective leader is not what we are born with. We learn leadership skills. Many of what we have learned is causing us problems and it’s time unlearn those things and replace them with what works.

Check out my free report “Creating the Business of Your Dreams” for new ideas.


Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

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Hugh Ballou (Author)