Whether you are working in your first job at a fast food restaurant, an associate in a large firm desiring to become a partner, a student in a large class, or some other environment where you want to stand out, be noticed, and move to the front of the line for acknowledgement and/or financial reward, there is one thing you can do that will always benefit you.

In fact, not doing this one thing, is the reason so many people do not truly succeed in life.

Doing this one thing will get you noticed. People will begin to appreciate you. Sometimes this one thing is so small, people will avoid it because it is “beneath them.” Trust me, this “small thing” will make a big difference in your long-term success.

Stop and think about all the things you notice. You notice when someone doesn’t throw their trash away. You notice the neighbor that hasn’t mowed his lawn. You notice when people wear the same outfit twice in the same week. Whether you want to admit it or not, you are always noticing things. I can say this because we all notice things.

If you want to be noticed for the right things, if you want to be the first one someone thinks about when an opportunity for promotion comes up, this is the one thing you need to do and make it a habit.

The one thing that you can do to make an impact and stand out from the crowd is to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, without being told to do it. That’s right, even if it’s not your job. Even if they don’t pay you enough to do it.

The term for doing what needs to be done without someone telling you to do it is “personal initiative.” An affirmation for personal initiative is “if it is to be, it is up to me!”

Everyone that receives a paycheck, gets a passing grade, and can get along well with others, is capable of “doing what they are told.” If you are always doing what you are told, you are right in the middle of the crowd.

Here are a few examples of “little things” that will make you stand out from the crowd. It’s the office person that sees a visitor at the front desk that asks, “have you been helped?”; it’s the employee that volunteers to take on a new project; it’s the employee that sees a spill outside the front door of the building and wipes it up; it’s the employee that offers solutions to problems instead of just identifying problems.

Personal initiative is the cure for procrastination. If you’re putting off doing what needs to be done, you lack personal initiative.

Personal initiative is a call to action. There are two forms of action, that in which one engages from choice, and that in which one does when forced to do so. It is those that choose to act that far exceed those that wait to be told what to do.

In business, it is the leaders that choose to act first rather than wait for the market that grow and prosper. Businesses that wait for the market to dictate what they need to do are often too late.

If you look around at the businesses that have survived the shelter at home orders, they are the ones that quickly adapted to create work from home procedures and implemented online meetings. Many of those that waited to see if the orders were going to be short-term (initially thoughts to be a couple of weeks), have either closed or are severely struggling.

Personal initiative was so important, it is even addressed in the Declaration of Independence, where our Founding Fathers wrote that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LifeLiberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is personal initiative, taking action, pursuing opportunities, that lead to happiness. Standing around, doing only what you are told to do, or only what you are paid to do, will only lead to a paycheck at best.

Without a doubt, each of us think. We can see around us what needs to be done. We can choose to do it and prosper. We can also choose to let someone else do it. You decide if you make it your job and reap the rewards. You can also decide they don’t pay you enough to do it. (It’s likely they never will.) Keep in mind, people are watching. Your supervisors are watching. Leaders of other organizations are watching. You are always on display, always auditioning for your next opportunity. What signs are you showing? Are you displaying initiative that ALL leaders are looking for? Would you be proud if you saw your daily performance on camera?

Don’t sit around waiting for your ship to come in. You must swim out to it!  

Remember, there is greatness within you. You must choose greatness. It won’t develop on its own. I believe in you!

Without initiative, leaders are simply workers, in leadership positions.”

Take Action Today!

If you would like assistance with developing and improving your personal initiative, I can help you. We can meet by phone, on Zoom, or in a place you deem safe with social distancing. Whether you choose me or someone else, a coach will expedite your results.

If you found value in this article, please like and share. You never know who else in your network may find it valuable. Thank you!

I appreciate you. I know your time is limited and I hope you receive value in reading my posts. 

I also invite you to connect with me. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, by email at  [email protected]  or through my website at www.bryanbalch.com. Thank you!  

I always look forward to your thoughts and replies.

Published by Bryan M. Balch, Results Coach

Helping Individuals and Businesses Achieve Desired Results