The ability to take Initiative depends on knowing yourself and being self-motivated to make a difference in those arenas that are important to you. Having a vision or being farsighted about where there are opportunities that others may not see opens the path for initiative. For example, being enthusiastic about a project at work and having thoughts about how it might provide a breakthrough in a problem your team is facing sets the stage for taking initiative. Seeing ways you might make a difference in your community sets the stage for taking initiative.

If any of these behaviors are true of you or associates with whom you work, you’ll find action tips at

  • Procrastinates when unsure or risk is involved; doesn’t follow through
  • Waits for others to take the lead
  • Fails to muster the support needed to follow through with a plan
  • Reacts to events as they happen
  • Operates in continual crisis mode

Action learning tips and learning assignments on the job are a click away at

You might also consider (a sampling of suggestions from

Burkhard, Gudrun. Taking Charge: Your Life Patterns and Their Meaning. Edinburgh, UK: Floris Books, 1998.

Nelson, Bob. 1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work. New York: Workman, 1999.

Smith, Douglas K. Taking Charge of Change: Ten Principles for Managing People and Performance. New York: Basic Books, 1997.

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