Seven Ways to Demonstrate Extreme Initiative

“Bureaucracy destroys initiative.” ~  Frank Herbert

Seven Ways to Demonstrate Extreme Initiative

By Dondi Scumaci

  1. Make it unnecessary for your boss to ask. Initiate follow-up and demonstrate follow-through with your assignments and projects. Make sure your boss doesn’t have to chase you down and search you out to get an update and check on a deadline.
  2. Communicate goals and priorities. Give your boss a copy of your action plan at the beginning of each week. Highlight your top priorities and deliverables. At the end of the week, debrief your results.
  3. Adopt a ‘no surprises’ policy. Bosses really do hate surprises when it comes to issues and results. Make it a personal policy that your boss will never be surprised by bad news.
  4. Present solutions. When you bring your boss issues, bring options and recommendations to go with them.
  5. Ask for more. Ask for a more challenging assignment. Volunteer to work on a special project.
  6. Adapt to your boss’s communication style. Does your boss prefer the highlights or the details? Does she like to be updated by e-mail, voice mail, or in person? Does your boss enjoy casual conversation, or does she hope and pray you will get to the point soon? Adjust your communication style to match these preferences and watch your credibility grow.
  7. Find a need and adopt a cause. Look for a corporate cause and get behind it. Be the voice for something that will make the organization and the people in it better (Scumaci, 2008, p.129-130).

From: Scumaci, Dondi (2008). Designed for success. Lake Mary, FL: Excel Books.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114,

Coaching Call To Action

This week look at how you may be hindering your employees’ initiative. What new information will you provide to them to help your employees develop their initiative?