“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.” - William Hutchinson Murray

What is Initiative?


The power or ability to begin or to follow through energetically with a plan or task; enterprise and determination.

Cultural Perspective:

The best way to get anything accomplished in India is to work with connections. These connections are often based on the extended family and in-laws, on professional relationships, or a chaining together of the two. Many foreign business people commonly set up joint ventures in India, despite the pitfalls, to tap into a network of connections. The best way to deal with frustration when conducting business in India is to remain patient and persistent as working with so many connections can be time consuming. (Hooker, J. (2003). Working across cultures. Stanford: Stanford Business Press.)

Quotes about Initiative:

As you read the quotes below, think about who said them, and how the actions they took demonstrated these characteristics-Gandhi, Marin Luther King, Jr. and Churchill

  • Be the change that you want to see in the world. ~Mohandas Gandhi
  • Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well. ~Lord Chesterfield
  • Each time someone stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. ~Robert F. Kennedy
  • The time is always right to do what is right. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • You see things; and you say 'Why?'; But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?' ~George Bernard Shaw
  • I could never convince the financiers that Disneyland was feasible because dreams offer too little collateral. ~Walt Disney
  • Go out on a limb... That's where the fruit is. ~Will Rogers

Reflective questions about Initiative:

  • Think about a situation that you are proud of the initiative you showed when solving a problem. What was the final outcome of your actions?
  • Is there a situation where you wished you took more initiative? If so, what would you do differently?
  • What is a worthwhile pursuit you are currently working on in your personal or professional life? How will it make you and others feel when completed? Will it make the world a better place?