How To Measure Personal Initiative

How to Measure Personal Initiative


Chris Farmer

Personal initiative is defined as a positive character trait which describes the degree of willingness that you hold and the ability to be able to take self initiated action in the pursuit of your own goals.

Personal initiative is important because everything that you wish to achieve has a specific cause that needs to be enacted to make it happen. If you are unable to enact the causes, then you won’t achieve the outcome you were originally hoping for. However, if you are able to enact the cause then the effect must occur and you will receive the object of your desires.

Nobody can force to do this yourself. Initiative is a personal thing and you have to overcome the temptation to put off things until tomorrow. Often people will leave it and never get round to it. Then there are the people who will put things off and decide that they don’t need to start it now and they will do it later.

Failing to initiate the actions that are required in order to achieve whatever outcome you are looking for will only end in frustration. Just think about how many people you know who are willing to wait for the circumstances to become more favorable before they agree to act.


As George Bernard Shaw said, ‘People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, — make them.’

One of the most powerful personal characteristics is personal initiative. Personal initiative is a highly valuable attribute and can be worth the most to you and your family. If you lack personal initiative then this should be corrected, as this is one blemish in your personality which could end up costing you the most.

There are four levels of personal initiative ranging from level one, someone who will do the right thing before being asked, through to level four, who is someone who refuses to do the right thing.

A level one personality is a person who will do the correct thing before being asked or before it even needs to be done. This type of person sees the opportunity to take action and is prepared to put themselves forward in order to ensure that it is completed. If the task is not done then there will be no immediate disaster in the short term. But the action may result in a huge dividend in the long term.

The action can be described as creative, preemptive, imaginative and valuable. Often people who have a level one personality will be richer, happier and more successful in life.

A level two personality is a person who does the right thing, but only in the event of being asked or there is a crisis and action needs to be taken. Level two personalities often work for someone with a level one personality, as they make good employees but not very good leaders. Level twos often don’t make much money and often will be stressed out as they need to be told what to do. They often have good potential for leadership because they are able to change and activate their personal initiative at will.

A person with a level three personality will only do the right thing only if they have been asked several times or they are late and being chased. Level three personalities eventually end up getting into trouble as they often make poor employees and have to be checked and double checked.

A level four personality will refuse to do the right thing, even if they are asked multiple times and the situation has become bad. These people are almost unemployable and may often become depressed.

Chris Farmer is a Management Training Consultant specialising in Management Training and

Time Management Training

. The courses provided by Corporate Coach Group have helped hundreds of managers become immediately more effective.

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How to Measure Personal Initiative