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Thank you for your support of Albuquerque-based Pluma Construction Systems. As you know, we provide a full suite of commercial construction services and residential remodeling. Built on a quality foundation of unwavering ethics and quality workmanship we created the Pluma Leadership Minute (heard on 770 KKOB-AM) as a way to share insights with influential people, like you!

Over the last 8 weeks we have reviewed leader characteristics such as Trust, Integrity, Persistence, Patience, Courage, Personal Responsibility, Wisdom, and leading by example . Today we focus on Taking Initiative

Initiative is an essential leadership trait and without it, it is impossible to be an effective leader.

Robert Foster Bennett, an American businessman, said “Without proactive Initiative, leaders are simply workers in leadership positions.”

Initiative is a self-management skill that can also be attributed to the qualities of a go-getter, a person with a can-do attitude, ready, willing, and reliable. Somebody who takes on a task readily and without viewing it as a burden. These types of people know the hustle and do whatever it takes to accomplish the vision. They are hungry for success.

Initiative is something that leaders hope for in their employees, but the reality is that initiative must start with the leader. Initiative is a quality that, like integrity, persistence, courage, etc. — some people are just simply more inclined to than others. However, that does not mean that initiative cannot be taught, and as we have discussed, the best way to teach something is through example.

Show them that doing more than what is expected, is what is expected. Going above and beyond basic responsibilities, tackling challenges, anticipating, and preventing problems. Being proactive instead of reactive. Stepping out of your comfort zone, thinking outside the box. Be a forward thinker take ownership and be decisive.

Never make excuses. Remember what excuses are like and never make them.

Remember that initiative is contagious. Watch it catch on as you strive to always give 110%.

9 Benefits of Taking Initiative

1.   Control. While you can’t control everything that happens around you or to you, you can control how you respond. Better to be in a position where you’re free to make choices that align with your values and goals, rather than having decisions imposed on you. 

2.   Achievement. As Roxie Malone said in “Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment, “You can sit back and let life go by, or you can get on it!”. Taking that step is the first step towards getting things done and reaching your goals.

3. Confidence. Small successes set the stage for larger ones. Take note of your accomplishments. Success creates momentum and builds on itself. 

4.   Proactivity. Recognizing potential danger and then taking action to avert it nips problems in the bud. You may have been down a road before and have knowledge about a hazard no one else is aware of. Speak up so others will have what they need to make an informed decision.

 5.   Inspiration. You serve as a role model to others. Often, it just takes one person having the courage to take that step towards their goal, and others will do the same. Think of the possibilities if everyone was listening to their inner guide and marching towards their goals. Even if the steps are small, the potential for positive change is enormous. 

6.   Self-Awareness. Taking initiative is taking a risk. But it’s the only way you’re going to learn about yourself and your personal power. Once you start discovering your capabilities, you’ll want to keep going. 

7.   Creativity. Initiative creates opportunities and allows you to fuel your passion. Although you share the Road with others, no one else walks your steps. It’s up to you to recognize your gifts and share them with others. 

8.   Mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not stretching and growing. One of the reasons it’s wise for new riders to purchase used the first time is that they’re going to damage it or they’re going to choose something they’re not happy with. While you want to be making informed choices and not risking safety, you gather the best information available to make your decision. Mistakes are one of the greatest teaching tools. 

9.   Fear Busting. You feel vulnerable when you take a step into the unknown. The greatest role of fear is to alert you to potential danger. The greatest trap is that you allow fear to prevent you from moving forward. Most fears are irrational and crop up when you’re trying something new and your ego is threatened by change. Take note of any real danger, acknowledge the irrational fear that is trying to protect you, thank it, park it and move on.