Amidst all of the rhetoric regarding leadership, followership gets a bad rap. Not all of us are leading ALL of the time in EVERY facet of our lives (especially those at the beginning of their careers), but writing a post about how to be a good “follower” is pretty much a literary buzzkill.

In those “brief” moments of downtime when you find yourself not in a leadership position, focus on INITIATIVE. Initiative essentially means that you are driving your own train without waiting on someone else to tell you what to do. You anticipate the needs of your boss, your team, your company, your customers. You act. We all know the buzzwords surrounding agility, and none of us can be agile without initiative.

AZCentral encourages proactive behaviors such as finding answers to problems (research, brainstorm and test), introduce new ideas, team up (which is my favorite. Nothing like collaborative teaming), and volunteer. If a project is outside of your bailiwick, who cares? You’ll learn something and probably network with new people.

It takes thousands of people with initiative to light their own lanterns that creates the magic in the night sky.