The definition of initiative:  the power and ability to follow a task through energetically and show enterprise and determination in performing the task.

Good stuff, don’t you think?

  • ‘power and ability’
  • ‘follow through energetically’
  • ‘enterprise and determination’

Would your accountancy firm be more successful, more profitable and more exciting to work in if these three things showed up in more of your people, more of the time?

Of course it would!  Any business would benefit from unleashing more initiative!

However, it’s smarter delegation of work and jobs within your firm that results in greater initiative from your team.

Smarter delegation results in your people performing at a higher level.

Your people performing at a higher level frees up your time so that you can focus on other, more important tasks.

When you encourage more initiative from your team, it gives your team confidence - they may surprise you!

Here is a great story about how a simple act of initiative within a team can change the course of a day:

At a recent training event we held in a hotel, the tea, coffee and pastries failed to show up when scheduled at 9.30am.

The event was due to start at 10am and some of the delegates had started early with long journeys to get there on time. They had not only earned the right to have a hot drink and snack, they needed it, so that they could be at their most attentive during the rest of the day.

We asked the hotel staff twice to sort the coffee – nothing happened – and our delegates were thirsty and frustrated!  We were also concerned as the audience were not in a receptive frame of mind!

Fed-up with waiting, one of our team used her initiative…

She charmed the staff at a concession coffee shop within the hotel to come and take orders for ‘posh’ coffee and snacks from the delegates.

The delegates all responded positively and, although the event ended up starting a little late, the delegates were impressed, satisfied and in the right frame of mind too.

This team member used her initiative – with great results!

It was a simple act – solving an immediate issue and allowing the day to move forward successfully.

How often do you encourage this kind of behaviour in your team?

How many of your team do you think would do this?