I was recently speaking to a class of high school students that are part of the school’s leadership LINK crew. The grade 12 students are linked with younger students and tasked with leadership roles throughout the year.
At the end of my presentation, one of the students politely asked; “If there was one thing I could do every day that would help me be a better leader, what would you suggest?”
I found joy in the simplicity of my response, as I tend to overcomplicate things.
“Do one thing every day, that nobody asked you to do.”
It’s quite simple, but perhaps the most powerful thing any of us can do.
Want to get a job, even though you’ve applied 100 places? Pick up the phone and call, schedule a meeting, or stop by the office – all these acts will show your initiative. Instead, most of us do only what we’re asked; submit a cover letter and CV.
Want to get a promotion at your job? Start doing one thing at work that’s outside of your role, where nobody asked, but you took the initiative. Instead, most of us say, “Well that’s not my job.”
Want to have a better relationship? Do something for your partner without being asked, or without it being a special occasion. Or, simply ask your partner, “How can I make things better?”
Want to be a leader? Don’t wait for permission; begin to act. Real leaders don’t need a position or permission. They simply see life as a series of choices and decisions.
Leaders take the initiative in every part of their life.
What’s your one thing for today?