Leadership is Also (or perhaps first of all) About Initiative

A leader, like an explorer, must find new paths and ways to accomplish something. It is not enough to have ideas, you have to turn them into actions, always put your first foot forward so that others can feel stimulated and follow his example. A leader with initiative knows what he wants, knows how to recognize opportunities when they arise. It does not wait for an external motivation. He knows it is his responsibility to strive beyond his comfort zone, to make this a habit. He is willing to take risks because he knows that there is a price to pay even by doing nothing.

A leader with initiative is tasked with making things happen, even if he encounters obstacles or makes mistakes because he also knows that one way to be successful is to raise the failure rate.

Most people are used to doing what they are told to do, as one of the first things we are taught as children is to follow directions.

This is a good thing to be able to learn from people more experienced than us, but at some point, both in life and in work, we have to grow, forcing ourselves to get out of our comfort zone to learn how to move with our legs and to take our initiative.

Initiative is a characteristic that distinguishes a person from the crowd and is a quality that distinguishes a leader, in the sense that he not only does what has been taught, but also finds new ways of doing things differently.

It is not enough just to have simple thoughts about the goals to be achieved, because they are nothing until they are transformed into actions. A leader always puts his first foot forward so that others can follow his example. In fact, one of the secrets to increasing the initiative in daily life is to reduce the timeline between the birth of an idea and the first step, the action towards its realization. Choosing the best opportunity one can see and take it as far as possible to make it happen, not stopping until you have done everything possible to realize that idea.

It is a skill that helps individuals, especially those in management positions, to become aware of the context in which they work and to be able to seize the opportunities that are offered.

When we will have learned to take the initiative, it also means that we have learned to stay focused on what we choose and fully focused on the results we want. If we don’t, there is a good chance of being overrun or becoming a pawn by someone else who is taking the initiative. But, if it is true that the spirit of initiative means knowing how to translate ideas into action, it means also that it includes creativity, innovation, and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan, manage projects, achieve goals. It is a skill that helps individuals, especially those in management positions, to become aware of the context in which they work and to be able to seize the opportunities that are offered. A (rare) quality that prompts a person to do what should be done without being told to do it. All great leaders must possess this quality, which also helps them to involve their collaborators.

Initiative is therefore the aptitude to move, act, not accept stasis, numbness; it means doing something creative quickly, something new; it means being energetic and constructive, courageous. It is essential in order to get out of useless or harmful automatisms, producing added value.

It is initiative even the refusal to always consider constraints as insurmountable without trying to succeed, perhaps increasing one’s skills, because what limits us and also what stimulates us is connected to our potential.

The initiative is a remarkable ability because it is not driven by something that “must be done within a role”, but it is an autonomous decision that the person makes consciously, and therefore contains the essence of personal motivation, what we can call value-added.

It means being energetic and constructive, avoiding complaining or criticizing, also knowing how to involve others.

The initiative wins hope over pessimism and renunciation.

Very often opportunities are seized and problems are solved thanks to a deviation from habitual and conformist behaviors.

The valuable initiative is manifested through the competence determined by active experience that enhances learning.

To understand how motivated a person is, it is necessary to look at how much initiative he manifests.


Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

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