Independence and Initiative Large

Why Independence and Initiative Skills Matter

January 8, 2020

​It may seem strange to say independence and initiative are important skills when everyone is talking about teamwork. However, think of it this way: Teams are made up of people that are working together to achieve a common goal. Each team member needs to take the initiative to fulfill their responsibilities.

You need to be able to plan how you are going to fulfill responsibilities that were assigned you as part of a team. Most of the time, this means close communication with other team members, but ultimately, you need to be able to determine:

  • What needs to be done.
  • How you are going to do it.
  • When each task is going to be complete.
  • What the potential roadblocks are.

Then, you need to be able to follow through and complete your tasks without someone monitoring your every move. That means you should:

  • Pay attention to details and produce high-quality work in an ethical manner.
  • Complete your tasks on time.
  • Take initiative to help others as team priorities shift.
  • Use problem-solving skills when you hit roadblocks.


Planning & Organizing

  • Set goals.
  • Schedule and prioritize tasks.
  • Allocate resources.
  • Anticipate obstacles.

Dependability & Reliability

  • Fulfill obligations.
  • Be on time.
  • Pay attention to details.
  • Comply with policies.


  • Strive to exceed standard work.
  • Take initiative.
  • Set challenging goals.
  • Work independently.

Scenario Guides

If you’d like to quickly test yourself on these skills, check out our scenario guide. This guide provides you with a few example situations on the first page, as well as space where you can write your solutions. Once you’ve done this, measure your responses against our answers on the second page.

You can find this guide in the “Documents” section of this article.

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