Taking the lead at work

Taking initiative has become increasingly important in the ever-evolving work environment, not only for growing the organization but also for demonstrating your value at work. Thinking on your feet and taking action without being told, strongly correlates with personal achievement and professional development. Furthermore, showing initiative is a sign of your capacity to become a leader.

Therefore, what does it take to spot opportunities that others have missed in the workplace and take advantage of them?

1. Be curious about the way the organization works and be open-minded to new ideas and possibilities.

Read the Simplex Process to learn how to identify opportunities and potential improvements.

2. Always be alert of ways to simplify processes and find new and better ways of doing things. Proactively suggest those ideas and be an example of implementing those processes.

3. Always think ahead. Justify likely obstacles with well-thought out plans that take the potential obstacles into consideration.

4. Be on the lookout for ways to save money and reduce costs.

5. Provide the questions you know are going to be asked beforehand. Think like your boss and take into account all deliverables from their perspective before you submit them.

Always review your work thoroughly or ask someone else to read through your work.

6. Always do your research and always be prepared. Read the material in advance, research the subject matter beforehand and immerse yourself fully on the topic at hand.

7. Deal with problems immediately. Take the necessary action, be decisive and put it all behind you as soon as possible.

8.Even when confronted with difficulties and setbacks, develop rational persistence to achieve what you’ve set out to do.

But remember that as important as it is to take initiative, it is just as important to be wise about when to take action. At certain instances it may be inappropriate to take initiative, especially if it involves generating too much work for people or when your idea will not be beneficial to the organization.

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