When you take initiative you are signalling to your Manager you care about your clients, and the service you provide. Taking the first step may place you out of your comfort zone, but your Manager will usually welcome it.
Why? Leaders are often presented with issues to solve by their team members, without being given alternatives, and a recommended solution. By being a ‘problem solver’, you can position yourself as a valuable contributor to your team, and someone who can be trusted.
There are Three Steps to Taking Initiative:
- Identify What’s Needed: You need to look to what your client or your team requires to be more successful. Look at the situation from your client’s or line manager’s perspective. What do they focus on the most? What is important to them? Where are the potential gaps? Pinpoint critical issues, and why they are important.
- “Start somewhere, go anywhere.” Most leaders like their teams to come to them with ‘something’. Leaders don’t have all of the answers – oftentimes, they are as or more effective based on the quality of the people they surround themselves with. I like people who come to me with ideas/options. I find it easier to provide direction when I have something to start with. I am not as effective if I have to start with a blank sheet of paper.
- Approach ‘problems’ with a ‘What If’ mindset. Oftentimes, we rationalize why something cannot, or will not work. Sometimes we should approach difficult problems with a mindset of ‘What if we did this…’, ‘What if we tried that…’, ‘What if…’.
Taking initiative will help you to think critically, be more adaptable and solution-focussed.
Key Insights: Taking initiative positions you effectively in your team. There are 3 key steps: Identify what’s needed, put forward ideas, and approach problems with a ‘What If…’ mindset.
Chris Williams – Financial Services Consulting, Senior Client Account Executive – Managing Director
Chris Williams is a leader with over 20+ years of experience in core banking transformation, merger integration and divestiture programmes in Financial Services consulting. He is the Senior Client Account Lead for one of the firm’s Diamond client in the US, and consults with numerous banks globally.