Of course, the challenge of being the initiator, someone who starts somethings, someone who picks herself is that you will be wrong.
You will pick the wrong thing, you will initiate something that will fail and you will waste time, you will be blamed.
This is why being an initiator is valuable. Most people shy away from the challenge.
People have been too abused, ridiculed and shamed when they failed, now they are too fearful to starting something new, they hold back, they are happy to let someone else take the heat and start something.
Taking initiative is scarce. Hence valuable.
Digging holes on the side of the road is common in South Africa streets, digging holes is not scarce.
It is not hard at all to find manual labor at minimum wage, which is precisely why manual labor gets paid minimum wage.
It is extremely difficult to find smart people willing to start useful projects. Because sometimes what you start does not work.
The fact that it does not work every time should give you confidence, because it means you are doing something that frightens others.
The reason we don’t take initiative is the fear of being wrong. It is not surprising that we hesitate. Starting something new maximises the chances of ending up wrong.
Here is the nightmare: The boss finds someone who did something wrong and she hassles/disciplines/humiliate/fires her.
If you are not wrong, that’s not going to happen to you. You will keep your job, all you have to do is keep a low profile at work and things will be okay.
On the other hand, here is another scenario: The boss finds someone who didn’t start, who never starts, who always studies or criticises or always plays devil’s advocate, and she hassles/disciplines/humiliates/fires her.
Oops forgive me for teasing you: that never really happens.
The typical industrial revolution, factory-centric business places a premium on not wrong, and spends no time at all weeding out those who don’t start. Instead those who initiate nothing are safe.
In the connection economy, the networked economy, the innovation-focused business has no choice but to obsess about those who don’t start. Those who don’t start are not welcomed in today’s businesses.
Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong.
If you start, you have a chance at evolving and adjusting. You can turn your wrong into a right. But if you don’t start, you never get a chance.
Change comes from people who initiate things, new things, things that matter. Taking initiative is the hard part.
Are you a hider or a starter?
When was the last time you started something new. How did it go, why did you stop? Were you shamed? Did it succeed? Did you start again? How is going?
How about creating a new song, writing a new book, drawing a new painting, creating a new project, starting a new movement doing work that matters, starting a new business, opening a new branch, doing another conference with amazing speakers.
It’s easier said than done, but once you get into the habit of starting and doing, it get’s easier.