Word-Of-the-Week #630: Initiative

September 1, 2016 by  

Initiative not needing prompting or direction from others; on one’s own.

Do you wait for someone to tell you what to do at work? How willing are you to help out another co-worker? Do you ever volunteer to do jobs no else wants to do?

This week features part one of another great LA Times article by Joyce E.A. Russell, “The best way to advance your career: Take initiative.” She writes, “Recently I was talking to a group of senior executives about leadership. I asked them the question “what do you most want from your employees at work?”

So many of them mentioned initiative. I probed further to try to understand what exactly they meant and why it was so important for employees to show initiative at work.

They lamented that so many employees just wait around for someone to tell them what to do. So when they see an employee who offers to help out before being asked, it really stands out.a initiative

Some leaders said that taking initiative is one of the most important factors when considering someone for career advancement in the company.

It’s not just about helping out the boss, but anyone who looks like they could use help.

For example, a co-worker is trying to finish a project and seems harried and another employee sees this and offers to pitch in — that’s initiative.

Other ways you can show initiative are:

  • Ask colleagues, “Is there anything I can help you out with today?”
  • Take on those boring projects or tasks that no one else wants to do. Be the first to volunteer.
  • Let your boss know that you are ready and willing to take on more challenging tasks. But first make sure you do an excellent job at your own tasks.
  • Try to figure things out on your own without constantly asking others how to do something. Read the manual or look something up online to learn as much as you can before having to ask someone what to do. Managers are often really busy and don’t have a lot of time to explain things in detail.
  • Work extra hours to make sure you have mastered how to do something.

This week’s focus is on initiative. Are you ready and willing to take on more challenging tasks at work? Do you try to figure things out on your own without constantly asking others how to do something? Are you willing to work extra hours to make sure you have mastered how to do something?

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