A leader will have initiative.
A leader will have initiative. I believe this so strongly, that I will go so far to say that any person with initiative is a leader.
The American Heritage® Dictionary defines initiative as the power or ability to begin or to follow through energetically with a plan or task.
Funny, those things listed in that definition came to mind as I was trying to get a handle on my thoughts about leadership. I thought: Leaders start. Leaders do. Leaders finish. Good leaders bounce. Initiative equals my idea of leadership.
But, let me back step first. Before a person even starts something, he has to first notice something needs to be done. Leaders observe and consider. They are aware of what is going on around them and inside them. I don’t know how or why some people do this, but some do it naturally and lots don’t.
Romans 12 hints that this awareness can be self-taught, at least in a spiritual sense. It says to morph your thinking away from worldly philosophies toward God’s thoughts, so you can test and analyze the rightness of things around you. It also focuses that awareness inward. Evaluate yourself with careful thought. And of course, look to others. We are to be interested in other people.
What do you notice? Do you see things that need to be done? Do you ever say to yourself, “Someone should say something or do something about this thing?” Wink, wink. You just might be a leader! Go to the next step.
At some point, leaders start. They may not be gifted at starting something from scratch, but they start at some point. They begin. They don’t sit around and wait, they commence activity. Others may join. Or not. The point is not to have a following, but to do something effective. To accomplish a task you noticed needing doing.
Joseph, one of the greatest leaders in the Bible, couldn’t stop doing. No matter where God put him, Joe got to work. A lowly house-slave, “the Lord gave him success in everything he did.” An inmate in Pharaoh’s prison, “the Lord gave him success in everything he did.” Joseph had initiative. No matter his situation, he noticed work to be done and started working.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Leaders come in all forms and personalities. Some lead multitudes. Some lead one. Some lead well. Some don’t. Some lead with flair. Some fizzle. The level and scope of your leadership depends on many factors. Much has been written about how to be a good leader and develop greater capabilities. But the commonality to all this leading is moving on, getting something done. At the bottom of every person guiding another is initiative. Just do it!