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5 Steps To Develop Initiative

Initiative is one of the top skills resident in personal leadership effectiveness. When individuals take initiative, they are usually the people who are sought after when significant opportunities present themselves.

So what is taking initiative really all about?

  1. The person is able to see what needs to be done AND starts to take action before being asked.
  2. Initiative-takers surprise others with their commitment and follow-through because they typically go above and beyond the initial expectation.
  3. Someone with strong initiative is usually team oriented and reaches out to others so that their collective brain power makes for a stronger solution to an issue or problem. They harness the creative thought process.
  4. Initiative-takers often serve as re-directors. This means they sense when to steer something in another direction. They don’t fear looking rejection or embarrassment. Rather, they are willing to take a risk for the good of the whole.
  5. Lastly, initiative-takers differentiate between the trivial many and significant few. By being able to determine what is important, taking action, and seeing things through to completion, they are well regarded as movers and shakers in the workplace.

When is the last time you took the initiative on something? How did it turn out?

If you find that you are stagnant in this area, ask yourself some powerful initiative-based questions, such as:

  • What isn’t working quite right with this situation?
  • What kinds of solutions may make it right?
  • How can I help make it right?
  • Who else can help?

From that point, identify who the main influencers and decision makers are and involve them in your thinking.

Remember that taking initiative is more than a skill. It’s really an attitude. It’s a perspective that one carries to see the world in terms of what can be better and with a bias for action.

About the author:
Diane Allen, PCC is a professional certified coach, leadership development consultant and founder of the Strategic Leadership Academy (www.strategicleadershipacademy.com). She has spent the past twelve years helping senior leaders and middle managers build success by building their personal and organizational leadership skills. For a complimentary assessment on how well you take initiative: info@strategicleadershipacademy.com and put “initiative assessment” in the subject line.

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