The Importance of Initiative for Team Leaders


Do you see yourself as an initiator? Are you consistently looking for opportunities or are you waiting for the opportunities to come to you? Team leaders need always to be looking for opportunities for their teams and should be ready to take action on those opportunities.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Qualities that Team Leaders Possess Which Enable Them to Take Initiative

They know what they want: Team leaders cannot be effective if they are indecisive. To be effective, team leaders need to know what they want. This is the only way to recognize opportunities when they present themselves.

They push themselves to act: Initiators do not wait for other people to motivate them. They take responsibility to push themselves beyond their comfort zone and make a habit of doing this. Initiators do the things that ought to be done, and when they make up their mind to do a thing they act on it.

They take more risks: Proactive team leaders take risks and they know there is a price to pay for not initiating. The risk of taking action is often less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.

They make more mistakes: Team leaders who initiate make things happen but they inevitably also make a lot of errors. Even though they often fail they do not let it bother them. The greater the potential of the leader, the greater the chance of failure. If team leaders want to achieve great things they have to risk failing greatly. They must be willing to put themselves on the line.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Initiative

Change your mindset: If you feel that you lack initiative, it is essential to recognize that the problem comes from within and not from others. Ask yourself why you tend to hesitate. Does risk scare you? Are you discouraged by past failures? Do you tend to miss the potential that opportunities offer? Find the source of your hesitation and address it. You will not move forward on the outside until you move forward on the outside.

Do not wait for opportunity to knock: The truth is that opportunity seldom comes knocking on your door. You have to go out and look for opportunities. Get an idea of your potential by taking stock of your assets, talents and resources. Now spend every day of the week looking for opportunities. Where do you see needs? Who is looking for your expertise?

Take the next step: It is not enough to just see the opportunity; you have to do something about it. Pick the best opportunity you see and take it as far as you can. Do not stop until you have done everything you can to make it happen.


Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader


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