How do we teach our teams to take initiative?
Initiative is always available for the taking. Often, our teams simply do not see what needs to be taken.
Many workers wait to be told to take action to solve a problem. If a leader doesn’t call attention to a problem, it is likely to simply remain in the current state.
Perhaps action is not taken out of fear of doing the wrong thing. Or perhaps the worker has little training and really doesn’t know what could be done to resolve the problem.
It is also reasonable to conclude that at least part of our team is simply too lazy to think and take action. Some may feel it’s safer to sit on the bench and wait to be called from their slumber.
I recently read a devotion from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers on this topic. He said:
“But God will not give us good habits or character, and He will not force us to walk correctly before Him … To take the initiative is to make a beginning—to instruct yourself in the way you must go.”
The first principle a leader must teach about taking initiative is to make the first step. The hardest step in the process is the first one.
We are a nation of steps—12 steps for this and 21 steps for that.
The problem with steps is that many of us will skip to step 12 and start there; 12 steps are 11 too many.
Leaders should teach the importance of a good start. The first step creates momentum if the step is properly supported.
Learning to take initiative is not a 12-step process. It’s all about the first step. Teach your team to take one step of action immediately.
I believe the Lord expects us to move as soon as we are drawn. Following the lead of the Holy Spirit is not a “wait until tomorrow” thing. I believe that God requires instant obedience.
The Holy Spirit gives the nudge to take the first step, now.
Drawing nearer to Him requires a move.