“Successful People Initiate”

There are a lot of “The 3 Things You Need to Be Successful” type posts, and although I do enjoy reading them and learn from them, they provide more good ideas than a script on how to become successful.

But I will admit that this post, “One Behavior Separates The Successful From The Average,” had a message that resonated with me.  So what was the “one” behavior?

Successful People Initiate

Most people only do what they are asked, doing only the minimum requirement. They need specific instructions on most things they do.

Conversely, those who become successful are anxiously engaged in a good cause. They don’t need to be managed in all things. They don’t just do the job, they do it right and complete. They also influence the direction for how certain ideas and projects go.

Most importantly, those who become successful initiate. They reach out to people, ask questions, make recommendations, offer to help, and pitch their ideas.

Being successful requires being proactive and not waiting for life to come to you. It means you’re on offense, not defense. You’re active, not passive.

Summarized…they make things happen.

The idea of the “initiator” is something that I have not only looked for in myself but in others. I wrote a post about the “4 Attributes of a Great Assistant Principal”, and I wrote something similar as the first point because my former AP’s exemplified this in spades:

1. Self-starters – There is often a misperception that a principal should be delegating tasks to the leadership team and I guess sometimes this does happen.  With that being said, I rarely had to ask my leadership team to do anything because they were already jumping on every opportunity to do different things for our school.  One of my proudest days as a principal was when our school started “Identity Day“, not only because it was such a great day for our school community, but this was an idea that was started and lead by my assistant principal.  Not only did she come up with the idea, but she worked with every single grade to ensure that the day was a success.  Being able to be actively lead initiatives and work alongside teachers gave them instant credibility.

They did not only do the “fun” jobs, but my assistant principals jumped up to take on some of the boring stuff to ensure that we would all work together to better their school.

The people that I have been surrounding myself with lately make things happen.  They innovate inside the box and do not let outside circumstances dictate their destiny. They are not waiting for the “next big idea” to find them, but go do what they can with what they have, to create the best experiences for the people they serve.

I will admit that I get frustrated with the opposite.  The people who seemingly can always find time to have meetings, but not get into classrooms. The people who continuously go to conferences looking for inspiration, but aren’t necessarily implementing things into their schools that could be beneficial for students or teachers.  Do you create pathways or opportunities?

The people I am talking about are not only consumers but creators.  They do both, but when I say “creators” I am not only talking about creating content, but I am talking about experiences and opportunities for themselves and others.  “Life happens” to them as well, but they still find a way to make things better.

These are the people that inspire me daily, and who I aspire to be.


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