It can be pretty complicated to be a CEO. Imagine all of the competing priorities you have going on and trying to find enough time in the day to get everything done. One thing that can stop a CEO from being successful is the inability to stand up and act. Taking initiative is critical to leading and is also important to being successful at Gravity.
When working with new hires on the concept of being a CEO, taking initiative is heavily highlighted because it’s paramount to our autonomous culture. Our most successful team members are the one’s who are able to sit back, observe their work environment, and then identify areas of improvement, without being told to do so. A great example of this concept came when the EMV (chip credit cards) liability shift happened. As an ISO, we weren’t provided a ton of information on how to seamlessly handle this transition for our customers.
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When this whole situation started to unfold, one of our team members decided to take ownership over the whole process. Now, it’s important to note that this person wasn’t in charge of understanding technology changes and they weren’t told by anyone to look into this from someone higher up. This person saw a need for more information to be gathered and they took initiative to make sure this was a successful transition not only for our independent business owner clients, but also for our team.
This person also took on sole responsibility for an initiative where none of us had any experience. Whether that project was successful or not was up to them. They took the praise if it went well, but also the burden if it didn’t. That took a true entrepreneurial spirit and, honestly, guts. As Bo Bennett said, “Without initiative, leaders simply just workers in leadership positions.”
Again, it seems simple. It should be a no brainer that CEOs need to be able to think creatively, be responsible, and take initiative. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t make it to the C-suite, right? But, trying to have an entire organization start to think like entrepreneurs, is a whole different strategy, but that’s what we’re trying to do here at Gravity. The more we can get our employees to think like CEOs, the more issues they will be able to identify and the more confidence they’ll have to take initiative, progress our company, and provide better customer service for our merchants.