We all have moments when we're not at our best. In times of stress and anxiety, we find different ways of coping; our stress manifests itself in different ways. This can have devastating effects on leaders who are unaware of their own coping mechanisms and reactive style.
As opposed to creative leaders, who are able to lead with clarity of vision and purpose amidst complexity and ambiguity, reactive leaders are less aware and swayed by external factors. There are three types of reactive mindsets – Complying, Controlling, and Protecting – that often emerge in these high-tension or ambiguous situations. We develop these mindsets at an early age to cope with difficult situations. As a result, we build "mental structures" that offer different ways to interpret and interact with the world around us.