Read an Excerpt
Introduction to Part I
Employees who make the personal decision to strive for something more than just the status quo are the lifeblood of every successful organization today. Taking initiative is a key ingredient in making improvements at work, dealing with change, and providing customers with service that is far beyond their expectations.
Initiative is personal: the individual controls when, where, and how much initiative to take on the job. Even though its impact may be felt throughout an organization, initiative starts with the employeeand what he or she can do on a daily basis.
In a recent online survey by iVillage.com, employees were asked, "What is most important for getting ahead in the workplace?" Of the 7,760 people who cast their votes, 55 percent said that "initiative" is most important, followed by "inspiration" (17 percent), "intelligence" (16 percent), and "political savvy" (12 percent). (Comments about initiative taken from this survey are presented throughout this book.)
Although employees often recognize the importance of taking initiative, they may be hesitant to do so. Part I provides both ideas and inspiration for taking initiative on the job to overcome obstaclesreal or perceivedthat may be holding you back.
The chapters that follow provide a detailed overview of how you can take initiative, and in the process make a difference where you work. Whether it's tapping your inner creativity, taking needed action on a persistent problem, capitalizing on opportunities as they become available, or thinking up ways to improve your current work environment, the act of taking initiative will undoubtedly reenergize you, in addition to making your job much better and your organization more efficient and effective. By taking initiative, all employees can elevate their visibility within an organization and greatly improve their chances for recognition, learning, growth, pay raises, bonuses, and advancement for good performance.
By focusing on what you can rather than can't do, and emphasizing possibilities in your own sphere of influence, you'll increase your chances to not only have greater impact at work but develop your skills on a local basis before you apply them to a wider arena and obtain more lasting changes in your department, division, or organization.