The Leadership Trait Initiative

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Initiative is an expectation that every leader expects but requires training and positive leadership to make it clear what initiative really is.
There is a major difference between initiative and decision making and people can become confused quite easily.
Let's use an example; a customer has spilled a soft drink in the entrance way.
Initiative would be to realize that it needed to be cleaned up immediately and for an outstanding associate to take the initiative to clean it up without waiting for a manager to assign someone.
A leader should take notice of an associate with the insight to take the initiative to do the right thing instead of waiting to be told or the attitude of let someone else do it.
If I observe an associate with outstanding initiative that is an indicator to me of maturity and leadership potential.
I can assure you that if you don't give this associate some form of recognition that over time it will disappear.
I am not suggesting that an associate displays initiative for recognition but I am guaranteeing you that once they feel they are being taken advantage of and unappreciated their attitude will change and you can't blame them.
This situation could be a great training tool and the opportunity to provide recognition.
If you explain to your team the importance of initiative while praising the associate that displayed it you can rest assured it will send a positive message.
You must also be cautious of the leader that takes the negative approach and scolds the associate for doing the right thing.
I have been associated with managers that would have made the comment; you don't do anything unless I tell you to.
The example used was surely a simple one but those simple things will grow into bigger ones, try it and see.
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