A note on initiative

Initiative is not like responsibility.

It cannot be given to or put on anyone.
It cannot be assigned or assumed.
It doesn’t belong to somebody and it cannot be anyone’s area either.

You won’t find it on an organizational chart and it’s rarely asked for, yet almost always needed.

The thing about initiative is that it can only be taken. The other thing about initiative is that anyone can take it! And they can take it anywhere, anytime.

The beauty of initiative is that when people take initiative in their work, relationships or personal life, those areas grow.

Many years ago, I worked in a fast-food franchise and the CEO established a habit of asking his team to find three things in their work that could be improved and we had to do that every day. This meant taking initiative on whatever I thought could help do things better, faster, easier, of higher quality, and mean more to customers. This added a dynamism to the work. It was fun and appreciated. The best part, the work got better and better every week. The outcome: the company grew from 1 to 118 stores in 5 years, went public after 7 years and today is one of the largest hospitality and retail holding companies in the country, despite the heavy competition every step of the way.

So, where can you take initiative today?

I’d love to hear from you, comment and leave your thoughts wherever you’re reading this. Happy Monday!