Saturday, March 20, 2010

Curious about Initiative: Do You Have It and Take It? John C. Maxwell Lists Initiative as One of the Qualities of a Leader

Definition of Initiative: Serving to initiate; inceptive; initiatory; introductory; preliminary. An introductory step or movement; an act which originates or begins. The right or power to introduce a new measure or course of action, as in legislation; as, the initiative in respect to revenue bills is in the House of Representatives.

Success comes from taking the initiative and following up... persisting... eloquently expressing the depth of your love. What simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life?” - Tony Robbins, American author

I am close to finishing the excellent book, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow, by John C. Maxwell. One of the chapters addresses the importance of initiative – never leaving home without it. I started thinking about the courage that is necessary in most instances of taking initiative.

Maybe you serve on a Board, are thinking of starting your own business, considering returning to school for an advanced degree, writing a book, running for a community office – all of which take initiative. I know because I have tried all and even more. In some instances, I moved fast. In others I actually procrastinated. Why? And why don’t we take the initiative when we have the desire?

I feel that it is fear that is holding us back. We don’t want to fail or be criticized or told, “You can’t do that. Who do you think you are, anyway?” Yes, there will be hard times and obstacles along the way. But I urge you to keep on keeping on. Read Tony Robbins' quotation again and the other quotations I am about to include below.

Pick your favorite or favorites:
  • The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.” - Eddie Rickenbacker, American aviator
  • The important thing is to concentrate upon what you can do - by yourself, upon your own initiative.” - Harry Browne, American writer
  • When you believe in what you're doing and use your imagination and initiative, you can make a difference.” - Samuel Dash, American lawyer
  • Genius is initiative on fire.” - Holbrook Jackson, English writer
  • I've always had confidence. It came because I have lots of initiative. I wanted to make something of myself.” - Eddie Murphy, American comedian
  • Initiative is doing the right thing without being told.” - Victor Hugo, French writer
  • It takes more than capital to swing business. You've got to have the A. I. D. degree to get by - Advertising, Initiative, and Dynamics.” - Isaac Asimov, American scientist

A couple more to chew upon:

Organization can never be a substitute for initiative and for judgment.” - Louis D. Brandeis, American judge

Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.” - Jesse Jackson, American activist

When and how have you used your initiative? Send me the story. I would love to read about it.