[This blog appeared on The 2:10 Leader Blog earlier this year. I am importing this year’s blogs as I transition them to MarcFey.com]

I love the word “initiative.”  It’s the first step toward something.

Practically, a step toward a solitary person who you see standing awkwardly in the gym—among so many people talking with others they already know—following our kids’ basketball game.

It’s a phone call to initiate an uncomfortable conversation with the person whose words earlier in the week stung, delivered in a casual, off-handed way, leaving you wondering, “Where did that come from?”

It’s bending over to pick up a piece of trash—the same crumpled up, discarded fast food paper bag I just watched 8 people walk right past, from across the parking lot.

It’s poring over the Excel spreadsheet because you have a hunch something doesn’t look right, staring at it a long time, until you finally see the mistake.  And that “catch” is going to save the company tens of thousands of dollars. (An example from a smart person I know who also has a lot of initiative).

Initiative is also the motivation behind every new invention, technology improvement, safer way to do something.  It’s not an overstatement to say that initiative is responsible for a lot of the best things we have in life.

Rock climber Alex Honnold

I also think initiative is the thing that evens the score with the propensity for things to “go south” in life.   Initiative solves problems before they come up, it pulls up the weeds and rocks before the seeds go in.  When you and I become people with initiative, it’s amazing how much better our luck turns out.

You can also think of initiative as “leading action.”  People with initiative are leaders, whether they see themselves that way or not.

They take the step before anyone else does.

Sometimes they take a step when no one else would.  Maybe never.

But they do.

Let’s be honest. Initiative involves risk. No one may see the step you take. Risk = anonymity.
Some may see and consider “what a fool.” Risk = ridicule.
Others may, at best, just look at you with a curious, head-tilt and wonder, “what’s that about.” Risk = Really?

But be assured. The world belongs to those with initiative.

What will you do today to “take the initiative”?


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©Marc Fey, 2022

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