Initiative takes effort

There’s a reason we hire a physical trainer, get a job and show up for work on time.

We see the value in someone else directing our actions.

On one hand, giving someone else authority over our effort is challenging, because they might not be aware of how much we have in reserve or what else we’ve got going on.

But the alternative is emotionally taxing: Taking initiative.

Instead of calling it “taking initiative” perhaps it would be more accurate to say “giving initiative.” Because it’s in short supply and we need more.

Deciding to do something that no one expected or ordered you to do.

Reading something or developing a skill on your own account.

Raising your hand, speaking up, launching a new project…

We’ve been trained to avoid all of these things. And the proof is that four-year-olds don’t have trouble with any of them. We know how, but we’ve been taught not to.