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How to Get Your Team Members to Take Initiative Without Lighting a Fire
Gayle Lantz - Leadership Expert Gayle Lantz - Leadership Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Birmingham, AL
Thursday, April 27, 2023


A lot of leaders struggle to get their teams to take initiative and assume ownership. They feel like they have to light a fire under them. But there are better ways to help the team take charge that don’t require force.

Gayle Lantz offers ideas on what leaders can do to help their team members be more proactive and take initiative in their work.

As Gayle explains, you can’t just “tell them.” You need to create the right conditions/culture for people to feel comfortable. And recognize that some people show initiative naturally compared to others, so different approaches are required.

Leaders also need to recognize when they themselves may be contributing to the problem.

At the same time, they can be a great model to demonstrate the kind of behavior they want to see in others.

As Zig Ziglar said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.”

Start small and reward team member effort as opposed to outcomes.

This episode covers:

  • Why taking initiative is so important beyond just getting the work done.
  • Specific strategies for helping team members show more initiative
    • Start with why (Explain the benefit.)
    • Clarify roles
    • Reset expectations
    • Paint the picture (Describe the scene –before and after)
    • Create a challenge. (Make it a game.)
  • What prevents team members from taking initiative 

Ultimately leaders don’t have to light a fire, but they can spark curiosity and open up new conversations to help their team take charge.


Previous Episodes:

Exploring Psychological Safety with Maura Barclay

Asking Smart Questions to Expand Your Leadership Impact

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News Media Interview Contact
Name: Gayle Lantz
Group: WorkMatters, Inc.
Dateline: Birmingham, AL United States
Direct Phone: 205 879-8494
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