Taking Initiative (1:50)
“Initiative is a way to give yourself power. Being the one that goes for something without waiting for someone else to give you permission will always put you in a position to create opportunities for yourself and connect with people that can take you further in life.”
1) In the video one role model told us that, “Taking initiative is a way to give yourself power.” How does taking initiative give you power? Can you think of an example of a time that you took initiative? How did it give you power? Explain your answer.
2) Listeners learned that taking initiative isn’t only something to do at school. You should also be taking initiative in your personal life. What are some ways that you might take initiative in your personal life? List at least one thing that you can do this week to take initiative in your personal life.
3) We heard one role model say, “When you see something that’s not being done and you think that you can work a little extra… Say, ‘Hey… I’d like to take a stab at that. Can I do that?’” At school, home, or in your personal life, are there areas where you’ve noticed something that isn’t being done? What is it? How could you volunteer to try to solve a problem?
4) One role model had some interesting advice for us. She said, “Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable.” Why might the role model have said this? How does it relate to taking initiative?
5) When you take initiative you may not always get the results that you were hoping for. But one role model reminded us that, “because you took initiative [it] shows how strong you are.” Why does taking initiative show that you are strong? What should you do if you take initiative but you don’t get the results that you wanted?
6) Taking initiative can “…improve your overall satisfaction and understanding, and most importantly, get you recognized by others.” At school and in your future career, why might it be important to be recognized by others? How could this recognition help you succeed?
Initiative is a way to give yourself power. Being the one that goes for something without waiting for someone else to give you permission will always put you in a position to create opportunities for yourself and connect with people that can take you further in life.
Sitting back waiting for things to happen in your life is just not how the world works, whether it’s personal, professional, school, you’ve got to go out and you’ve got to ask questions.
When you see something that’s not being done, and you think you can work a little extra and take care of that and lead by example, say, “Hey, I think we can improve that process or something. And I’d like to take a stab at that. Can I do that?”
There’s a 50/50 chance when you take an initiative. You might not get the results you want, and you might get the results you want. But at the end of the day, because you took the initiative shows how strong you are. And that in itself is an accomplishment.
Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable, to be uncomfortable in something, in doing something you’ve never done before, or seeing something you’ve never seen before. Take the initiative to learn about it and then to explore it.
Taking initiative can look like asking your teacher for an additional project. It could be asking your teacher, “Hey, what other things could I be learning that can help me in class?”
Don’t wait for people to assign you responsibilities. Go volunteer for them. All of these things are going to improve your overall satisfaction and your standing, and most importantly, get you recognized by others.
So I think without initiative, you will just basically sit back and let the world happen to you as opposed to you making the world your oyster and being able to give something to the world that the world has never seen before.
Independent Learning Discussion Guide: This all-purpose guide can also be used by educators, parents, and mentors to jumpstart a valuable discussion about what it means to take initiative.
Learn about the power of taking initiative and how stepping up to ask for more responsibility can change your life.
Classroom Lesson Plan: This step-by-step lesson plan is available to guide a more in-depth “before, during, and after” learning experience when viewing the video with students. This lesson plan is also suitable for use in after-school programs and other educational settings.
Fun Page Activity: Read stories about young people who each saw a problem and took the initiative to address it. Then, learn how to use your own initiative to solve problems in your community.