As I look around and examine the people I have working with me, I realize that I am very fortunate. Whether I have been brilliant in my choosing or just lucky in the outcome I’m not sure. I’d like to believe the former. Regardless, I seem to be surrounded with more and more people who show initiative. There is nothing more satisfying, save for perhaps landing a significant deal, than witnessing people you employ come up with ideas and take action on their own.
For those of you who are looking for a job, or perhaps have one and are hoping to be noticed for that raise or promotion, take heed in my words. Showing initiative is a quality that any company worth its weight will reward. Everything from, “I picked up some toilet paper for the staff washroom”, to “I’ve created a different approach to our marketing strategy”, are notable showings of initiative.
When you go above and beyond your employer’s expectations by investing your own time and resources (notice I said “own time and resources”) into the betterment of the company, it speaks volumes about your integrity and loyalty. These two words, and the behavior that accompanies, are music to an employer’s ears. Not only are you redefining your position but you are also taking some ownership in the success of the business.
Always keep the mandate of the company in mind when venturing into the land of resourcefulness. There is no point in offering up suggestions that are totally off course. Spending time on misguided projects may have the opposite outcome. It may be seen as wasting time or that you haven’t been paying attention to the boss’ plan. This doesn’t mean you can’t push the envelope and be creative. I believe every good employer should make time to listen to all ideas related to the growth of their business, even if they seem farfetched. One never knows where the next million dollar breakthrough will come from.
Taking the initiative doesn’t end at the workplace. You can drive the trajectory of your personal life with your inventiveness as well. This is a way of being, one that can bear great fruit.
Are you taking the initiative at work and at home? If not, how can you up the ante on yourself?
Caird Urquhart is Founder and President of Newroad Coaching, a boutique coaching firm providing one-on-one personal and business coaching services and also author of 30 Ways To Better Days: How to Rally After You’ve Been Dumped. Find Newroad Coaching on their blog and on Twitter and YouTube.