Beware of the dog.

The person who follows instructions will read the sign.
The person who trusts their instincts will read the dog.

The person with initiative…built the fence.

People who can follow instruction are common. Those that have done it long enough to respond instinctively are less common. People who lead with initiative are both valuable and rare.

There’s nothing particularly remarkable about doing what you’re told. The leader who takes the initiative to solve problems, or better, prevent the problems from occurring at all is someone you’ll fight to retain on your team.

What makes leaders with initiative stand out? They have:

  1. An orientation towards solutions – they are problem solvers.
  2. An outlook that is optimistic – they are ‘can do’ people.
  3. An eye on the future – they are always thinking and planning a step ahead.

Both those who need instruction and those who lead with initiative will claim that “nobody told me to”.

One will say “nobody told me to…so I didn’t.

The other will say “nobody told me to…but I did.

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If I had to rely on one of those people to be my number two. I know which I would prefer. How about you?

A question to reflect on:
“What am I still waiting for direction on that needs me to take action on?”