Monday I wrote that so-called leadership skills are actually the skills everyone needs to live a satisfying life and to that end they are well worth developing.
I also said I would share the most important trait of leadership—and life.
Initiative is the number one key leadership ingredient.
More so than vision or influence, it’s initiative that puts you in the forefront of any action, large of small.
Initiative is what
- separates the doers from the observers;
- stokes creativity and innovation;
- drives entrepreneurial activity at all levels; and
- makes the world a better place.
Initiative isn’t about schooling, although education can enhance it; it’s not about birth or clothes or cool. It’s not about networking or connections or followers on Twitter.
It’s about awareness; about noticing what needs to be done and doing it whether or not anybody is around to notice; doing it whether or not there is credit and kudos.
Initiative doesn’t wait for someone else to lead the way, nor does it play Monday morning quarterback to initiative taken by others, instead it actively contributes to that initiative.
Initiative doesn’t wait to occupy a certain position before becoming active, preferring to constantly seek ways in which it can contribute.
I believe that initiative is latent in every person, but it’s up to each individual to make it active.
Image credit: business mans on sxc.hu