Have you ever been with a group of people where no one would make the first move or take the initiative? Were people in the group shy and didn’t want to stand out? Did they feel intimidated? Or, was there something else that caused them to not take the initiative? I have seen something very interesting happen in these group settings. After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, one person inevitably takes the initiative to act. He/she takes the initiative and get up to start working. From there, many others begin to act and follow suit. The true leader is the first person to take the initiative.
So what does it mean to take the initiative?
On the website Then Life Happens, Darren Sproat explained initiative as, “In its simplest form, taking initiative is doing without being asked to do.” Taking the initiative means making the first move, being willing to do what others don’t want to do, or stepping up to make an introductory act or step leading to action. If you take the initiative, you are willing to be uncomfortable if it means the result is better than what you have to sacrifice or the discomfort you must go through when taking action. Leaders constantly take the initiative to get things done. They step up to make things happen.
How do you take the initiative?
If you want to take the initiative, you must decide what you want. Once you decide what you want, identify what it takes to get it. If it is something worth obtaining, you will probably be required to go through moments of discomfort to accomplish it. It probably won’t be something you can get right away or with little effort. You will constantly have to act and move forward in order to to get what you want.
You take the initiative by being the first one to act when it is uncomfortable. You keep the end in mind and always move towards that end. When you take the initiative, you act and do things that are less comfortable so you can reach your goal. It isn’t always easy to take the initiative and in many cases it is actually quite hard, but the end is always worth it.
How does initiative lead to success?
Initiative leads to success because you are willing to constantly act. You are not satisfied with status quo. You have a drive that surpasses mistakes and setbacks. Some famous people that took initiative are Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sam Walton, and Michael Dell. The list of people that were willing to take the initiative goes on. They each had times where they had to get a new ball rolling. They took the initiative to make people or things move in a new direction even when it was challenging. The end results were, however, far greater than what they ever imagined.
No one was ever successful with just a great idea. They all had to take the initiative to do something that was uncomfortable before they saw success. Each of person that I mentioned above had an incredible success story that was realized after they took the initiative. I am not advocating that everyone will see results, but when you take the initiative you put yourself on a path to success.
How do you take the initiative? What helps you to take the initiative? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!