Over the years I have written a few posts about Empowering Leadership. Today, I want to address a topic often left out of the empowering leadership conversation. Successful organizations draw and develop self-initiators, people who do not need to be told what, when, or how to accomplish tasks. One reason fruitful organizations attract good talent, including self-initiators is often these organizations engage an empowering leadership structure.

High level leaders understand the role of hiring self-initiators with the skillset to build others inside the workforce. Self-initiators with this mindset will 1) attract other likeminded self-initiators and 2) tend to instill in others a similar mindset. Thus, you are building an empowered organization.

A much better facet is to build self-initiators from within the current workforce. This is the main option for the church. People need to be trained and equipped to take on this type of leadership – self-initiative. Fruitful organizations, including churches, understand the value of building self-initiators.

How do you train people to be self-initiators? Ask yourself. “What causes you to do the things that you do without having to be told that it needs to be done?” People who make their beds each morning before leaving the house are self-initiators. Pastors, bosses, CEO’s who bend over to pick up a candy wrapper are self-initiators – or OCD.

Here are three ideas to assist in training all the people in your organization to become self-initiators.

  1. One by one or in small groups take a tour of your facilities asking these types of questions: a) What do you see in this area that could use some improvements? B) What would be your first suggestion to make that improvement? c) If you were empowered to make those adjustments, what timeframe do you think you would need? d) Great, then you have my blessing. I stand ready to assist you in making those adjustments.

Not all conversations are going to go that easy or so quickly. Neither are you going to be ready to empower people to make major changes which could be costly – financially or to personal. However, many people in your organization will have some ideas for improvement of their own performance if they were empowered to be self-initiators.

  1. Leaders are learners. Leaders are readers. One of the best ways to equip self-initiators is to encourage self-learning. Offer special incentives or greater encouragement for people to read books and periodicals that may focus on self-initiative leadership. Volunteer organizations such as the church can offer group studies on certain books or study courses where individuals read a chapter and come together regularly to discuss and encourage one another in the virtues of each chapter.

Even in corporate America fruitful organizations offer these type of study groups, often at lunch or other times, during work or after hours. Those organizations realize the added value to the organization by allowing time “on the clock” for such self-improvement.

  1. Formal training is always available. This can be classroom training or a mentor-apprentice type environment. Why not plan for some type of structured training for building self-initiators? Twice each year have a one-day event for training or a series of short courses to build these leaders.

Will you take the initiative to build self-initiators in your organization?

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