How to Get in a Habit of Taking Initiative

Posted on: Aug 08, 2015

Categories: Leadership

taking initiativeWhen people hear that they need to take more initiative at work, they often think that means they need to start coming up with life-changing solutions to their company’s struggles–that they need to take charge and start making many of their brilliant ideas a reality.

But taking initiative doesn’t have to mean taking the reins.

Taking initiative can start with just refilling an empty coffee pot in the break room.

Oftentimes, we get so caught up in being noticed for our big ideas and grand gestures that we forget that just being a considerate employee is good. Taking initiative to clean up the mess someone left on the conference table; taking the initiative to bring in treats for your office mates every once in a while; taking initiative to work on the project everyone else is neglecting–these are all ways that you can take initiative in your office.

At its core, taking initiative is simply this: seeing a need and filling it without being asked.

But before you can take initiative, you have to see the need. When you get in the habit of looking for small ways you can help and problem solve–even if it’s just brewing a pot of coffee–you begin to see bigger ways you can be of service. Additionally, your peers will begin to see you as someone who takes initiative–someone who dives in and helps–even just by doing it with the small things.

Where can you help out this week? What needs can you fill? I want to challenge you to start taking initiative–see the empty coffee pot, then do something about it. The more needs you fill, the more value you bring to the table, so keep your eyes open for how you can help.
There may not be a lot of glory in brewing coffee, but there’s always glory in being needed.

*Image courtesy staceymontgomery