Are You an Initiator or an Order Taker?

It’s Time to Add Value

Jackie & Kevin Freiberg

“The scarcest resource in business isn’t talent, money, power or ideas. It is people who take initiative and add value.”

Throughout our careers, we’ve heard a consistent frustration voiced by most of the executives we work with and it is this: “Our people ARE empowered, they just don’t ACT empowered.” During this time of uncertainty, down-sizing and down-scaling, how valuable are you to your organization if you need to be told what to do?

According to Forbes, almost 60% of CEOs of leading companies believe the economy will not return to pre-pandemic levels until the first quarter of 2022. And more than a quarter of CEOs believe it will take an additional year to return to pre-pandemic levels or whatever “new normal” unfolds.

Businesses are pivoting and pivoting fast. So while your company is re-imaging business models, asking people to re-skill, making new products and innovating to better serve customers, don’t wait for an order or an invitation. This is your opportunity to add value and go for it!

Think about it, your job uniquely qualifies you to understand pain points, opportunities and pivot options. Do not hold back, now is the time to review and rethink how operations need to adapt to current challenges. It’s time to ask, “are there any opportunities for improvement and growth?” This crisis is calling for leaders at all levels, for people who don’t wait to be asked. Survival requires everyone, regardless of position and title, to jump in and prove your mettle by adding value.

What can you do?

Remember, initiative isn’t something someone gives you – you take it.

  • Move past your title and see beyond your job description. Look for opportunities to pivot, improve and streamline.
  • See a problem? Offer a solution.
  • Stop waiting for directions and create your own. Standing still is not an option.
  • Think big. Businesses are facing enormous challenges right now and they need far-reaching solutions.
  • Be brave and give voice to your ideas.
  • Move beyond your expertise and knowledge. Find opportunties to re-engage, re-think and re-image the work you do and the value you add.