Insights in Leadership

Five great ways you can foster initiative on your team

June 22, 2015



The value of team members taking initiative is widely recognized by top leaders as an important element to team success. Here are five great ways you can help your team maximize their ability to initiate things independently:

  1. Stop creating and directing; try holding your own thoughts and asking for what others think instead. Then encourage them, in the moment, to act on their ideas.

  2. Praise those who take action for doing so, especially when things don’t work out right. This helps them build courage and confidence by knowing they have the support of others.

  3. Remove pointless restrictions whenever possible. (Ex: Having to ask permission, when such permissions are almost always granted).

  4. Identify over-engineered processes and procedures and ask team members to come up with creative and streamlined ways to change them by experimenting. Let them re-engineer the team for themselves, and learn best practices through experience.

  5. Make it OK to fail. We all know this, but in reality too many of us have become “super-safe” in the way we think and act. Failure = experience, and there is no substitute for experience!

So, hopefully your own creative juices are now flowing. Please click here to share your thoughts; many others would love to see what your initiative spawns!

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