Taking Initiative

Proverbs_3-6: In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths
Proverbs_3-6: In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths

Taking  Initiative

Initiative is the motivation to direct  effort toward achieving challenging goals and remain determined even when  things get difficult.

Here are some ways any employee can take  greater initiative in his or her job. It’s one thing to tell your employees to  take greater initiative, but another to provide them with easy and clear ways  to do it.

Ways  To Take More Initiative In Your Job 

Innovationthinking outside the box–is  the spark that keeps organizations moving ever onward and upward. To think  outside the box, you must think differently.

Tips On Thinking Differently

  • Look for new combinations.
  • Ask “what if?” or develop  “what-if” scenarios.
  • Consider approaches you’ve never thought  about before.
  • Brainstorm with others.
  • Be a champion of new ideas — the old ways  aren’t always the best ways. Without innovation, new products, new services,  new ways of doing business would never emerge, and most organizations would be  forever stuck doing the same old things the same old way.

Taking  Action–Capitalizing on Opportunities

Taking action can often be a scary  proposition. It would be much easier to wait for your boss to make the decision  and take the responsibility to tell you what to do and when to do it. However,  progressive companies realize that they need employees at all levels that are  willing and encouraged to take chances and to make decisions–and be willing to  take responsibility for their actions.

Doing Your Homework

Preparation is often the  key to success in any endeavour. You will be more successful in convincing  others that what you believe is the right thing, if you are armed and ready with the  facts. Taking the initiative to do your homework means doing the basic research  necessary to back up your claims, such as obtaining necessary information,  determining costs and benefits, making calculations, and/or gaining buy-in from  others who will be affected.

Making Improvements

One of the easiest–and most  effective–ways for employees to take initiative is to be on the lookout for  ways to improve the work processes, products, services, and systems that are a  vital part of how the organization does its business. In fact, the closer you  are to an organization’s actual product, the greater the chance is that you  have more daily contact with its real business–its customers, clients,  products, and services–than do those who are higher up the ladder.

Perseverance and Persistence

Employees who excel at taking initiative  usually must also persist in the support of the ideas and actions in which they  believe. This type of initiative can, at times, include overcoming the  resistance of higher-ups or of entrenched policies and systems that work to  ensure the maintenance of the status quo.

Unleashing  Creativity In Others

Anyone can unleash the untapped innovation  and creativity in others by applying the following principles:

  • Take the mystery out of creativity by  teaching them what you know.
  • Discover how creative they are and  encourage them.
  • Define specific challenges for them.
  • Minimize in them, the fear of failure.
  • Take personal responsibility for their  actions.
  • Encourage active communications between  you and them.
  • Enhance your own creative skills and  behaviour to set an example.

This is how a leader or an employer ought  to provoke or encourage initiative in others.