According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “taking the bull by the horns” means to deal with a difficult situation in a very direct way, as in, “I took the bull by the horns and confronted him about his mistreatment of the workers”. 

Many years ago, I had a boss who would repeatedly tell me that I needed to be proactive.  It seemed like jargon.  Like a buzz word.  Like “paradigm shift”. 

Similar to “taking the bull by the horns”, being “proactive” means “taking action by causing change and not only reacting to change when it happens”, again, according to the Cambridge Dictionary.  It means being ahead of whatever problem might be about to rear its ugly head.  You can’t always do that, if you ask me, but you can often take the bull by the horns.

In my opinion, I would have been better served if my boss had instructed me to take the bull by the horns.  Unless you like jargon and buzz words.

I’m not even sure my boss knew what being “proactive” meant.

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