“Taking initiative does not mean being pushy, obnoxious, or aggressive. It does mean recognizing our responsibility to make things happen.” — Stephen Covey
As a hiring manager, I looked for a demonstrated ability to take initiative from every candidate I interviewed. Obviously, one had to have the technical skills, education and experience but, if she could show a desire and ability to take initiative, she would have a leg up those candidates who could not.
Taking initiative is an essential quality of an effective leader. We are all leaders. I am not necessarily speaking only of your job or career path… what about your life? You are the leader of your life, right?
But, what does it mean to take initiative?
In its simplest form, taking initiative is doing without being asked to do. It means challenging yourself! Occasionally, you will have to step outside your comfort zone, put aside your fears and have confidence in yourself to get to get the job done. Taking a step outside your comfort zone means trying something that, perhaps, you have never tried before. It means doing more than expected!
Sometimes, it means setting your expectations of yourself higher than other’s expectations of you. What are your expectations of yourself… not just in your career, but in all aspects of your life? Challenge yourself by raising the bar. It gives you an opportunity to raise your own expectations.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
Take a risk.
It’s your life and you decide.
Make your life happen by taking the initiative you’ve been scared to take.