Initiative Means Commitment, Got It?

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I am not aware of anyone who has a strong drive for developing new initiatives and isn’t committed to the values and overall well being of an organization. Being able to produce and have the stamina to implement a well planned idea is at the core of what we consider an effective emotionally intelligent leader to be. New initiatives bring with themselves the need to achieve, maybe drive and a lot of optimism. It is a required mindset that anyone who is interested in leadership development should pay close attention to.

In order to start any well thought initiative, people are going to need a number of well known EQ skills including influence, content management, political awareness, optimism and adaptability. Self confidence alone won’t do the trick for you, I guarantee it. When crafting a strategy for implementing a new initiative, it is important to be able to adapt in your quest for making your initiative a success but adaptability alone won’t generate the outcome you need to design, develop, implement, evaluate any campaign with distinction. Another caveat — IQ alone won’t help it either. You will need to have people skills, team building capabilities, collaborations and cooperation.

In this article I won’t cover everything there is about planning and running effective new initiatives. There is too much to write in one blog post. I will, however, elaborate on three components of this challenging puzzle that we call, “Initiative.”

  1. Influence. You need to be influential. You need to have the capacity to make others do what you want them to do, without having to pay them a single dollar for it. If you are a master of persuasion you are by definition a man or woman of influence. The good news is that if you lack the ability to influence others, you can definitely learn it by developing emotional intelligence skills. EQ is a skill set that you can legitimately learn and develop. Do yourself a favor — This upcoming week, if you don’t know if you can influence others positively, read a book on persuasion and give yourself a chance to influence others with distinction and discretion by applying the basic tenents of emotional intelligence.
  2. Optimism. Look, if you don’t believe in your organization or yourself, why are you doing the work you are doing today? I know, I know… It is because of the money, right? Is it maybe because of the benefits? Regardless of the reason, make sure that optimism is a priority in your career. You are going to need the former in order to make initiatives to workout for you and your team. Optimism isn’t synonymous with realism even thought realism can be a part of optimism. There will be times when the best thing to do is for you to cut your losses and move one to the next challenge.  Hopefully, there will be only a few of those in your career. Be optimistic and believe that you can do it. You might even convince yourself of who you truly are — an optimist!
  3. Political awareness. Be ready to be a half-politician… Smile and take note about who you know or don’t know. It is well worth 2-3 minutes of your time.  In order to have a great impact on your community, you will need to befriend key political figures in your region. Is it a difficult task to accomplish? I guess that it depends on how many influential people you know and your ability to carry on a great conversation in the right environment. Everyone likes to chat especially about themselves. Be a good listener and seek to better understand the needs and wants of others. This former tip can help you to receive access to attend important political functions.  You must have the capacity to gain public awareness if you are serious about implementing initiatives in any organization.

I am not aware of anyone who has a strong drive for producing new initiatives and isn’t committed to the values and overall well being of his or her organization. Remember:  In order to start any well thought out initiative, you are going to need a number of well known EQ skills, including influence, optimism and political awareness. Don’t wait until tomorrow to start developing the required skill sets you need to develop great initiatives.  Life is too short for giving up strategic thinking and analysis. Do me a favor: Start on them right now! I bet you will thank me later.

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