« Initiative and Leadership are associated terms, for the reason that leadership is essential for the attainment of success, and initiative is the very foundation upon which this necessary quality of leadership is built. Inititative is as essential to success as a hub is essential to a wagon wheel». ( From the Law of Success by Napoleon Hill)
Over the years,I have had the privilege to coach many individuals in leadership positions.
It always blows my mind to listen to so many complain about how their team players have no "initiative" and feel that they constantly have to tell them what to do. Even then, things are not getting done and their people are not following through on their commitments.
They must realize that the team is always a projection of it's leader, and that results are also inside out. A leader cannot not ask of his people what he or she is not willing to do. A leader who does not follow through on his own commitments towards his team players, who constantly does not deliver what had been promised, can definitely not expect to receive other but the same in return. Needless to say, within a very short period of time, this leader has lost all credibility as well as the respect of his peers.
Initiative is a very important quality, it also means taking the "lead". When one feels that projects are not moving ahead, that objectives are not being attained, one should be asking: « As a leader, what can I do different? Or how can I help my team members reach their objectives? What's missing in the original game plan ? What conversations should I be having with certain team members to gain a better understanding their reality?» Maybe there is a need to be much more involved, to touch base more regularly with their key players. I've seen too many leaders avoid conversations with their people, they feel it's a waste of their time and that things won't change.
One thing that is for sure, nothing can change if the leader is not willing to initiate and make the necessary changes! So take on the lead, roll up your sleeves and help your team members, and then witness how quickly they will follow through on your new inititative!
Ghislaine Florence Labelle.