Initiative and Bias for Action: Why it is a Must in the Workplace

Does the story of the Tortoise and the Hare ring any bells for you?

The story is about a boastful Hare who kept bragging about how fast he was. The Tortoise, getting tired of hearing the Hare’s boasting, challenged the Hare to a race. The Hare, being his confident self, accepted the proposal.

During the race, the Hare, seeing that his opponent was way behind him, relaxed himself and fell asleep. The Tortoise seeing his opponent fast asleep, seized this opportunity and doubled up his pace and never stopped until he passed the place where the Hare was sleeping.

When the Hare woke up, the Tortoise was already nearing the finish line. The Hare now ran his swiftest, but he could not overtake the Tortoise in time.

In the business world, there has always been and there will always be competition. Being smart, having a degree or graduating from a prominent school may give you a competitive edge, but having them alone cannot guarantee your success. Success can only be guaranteed when a person takes the initiative and acts on what they have learned. Having this competency means being proactive and persistent – always ready to act on every opportunity.

Many people in today’s business world are like the hare, they are skilled, they are smart and they may even have acquired numerous degrees however, they lack initiative and bias for action which makes them fail to grow and they get stuck to where they currently are.

So, how will Initiative and Bias for Action affect your organisation? Employees having this competency are like the Tortoise in the story:

> They pursue goals beyond what’s expected of them. They are motivated to strive to do more in order to grow. Having employees with this competency will increase the success rate of your organisation because they will not just do what is necessary but will do things beyond what is expected of them.

> They are always ready to seize – or create – opportunities rather than simply wait. Employees like these already know what needs to be done even without being told to. They help your organisation reach its goals faster.

> They never see procrastination as an option. Remember what happened to the hare relying only on his speed that he started to slack off? Well, employees with a high level of initiative and bias for action tend to not slack off – they work hard until they achieve their goals. Having employees like these means less time worrying about unfinished tasks and disengaged employees that will surely drag your organisation down.

 George Bernard Shaw said it best:

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”

If you want your organisation to succeed in the competition called business, then you and your employees should never make room for procrastination. Developing the competency of initiative and bias for action helps you do that.

Remember that business success doesn’t always come to those who just want it; success comes to those who want it and then work hard for it.

Don’t get too worried thinking that you’re just making baby steps to success because just like the story mentioned, it is not always the fast and talented that win the race, it’s those who persevere and never stop until they achieve it.

At People Builders we have a team of expert trainers and coaches who can help you and your team develop initiative and bias for action. Contact us today for a quick chat to see how we can partner with you to train and coach you and your team.

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