Why Do MBA Employers Think Initiative Is So Important?

 In Career Tips, Leadership



Why is Initiative So Important to MBA EmployersIn the 2011 Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC)  survey data, initiative, professionalism and motivation were listed as the top 3 traits corporate recruiters would like to see in their MBA hires, with initiative taking the number one spot.  Keep in mind that these traits aren’t things that an employer can “train in”.  They can tell you to have these qualities, but you either have or can muster them or not.

I think initiative and motivation can really be combined, as I don’t think you can have one without the other.  Initiative in the work place is when someone takes it upon themselves to do work, solve problems and take responsibility without direction.  It doesn’t mean a person is ignoring rules or plans; in fact they more than likely understand those things and are continuously surveying the business landscape for an opportunity to see a task that will align with the business direction.

What makes initiative such a highly prized trait for MBA hires?  Here are a few thoughts and observations:

Someone with initiative is someone you can put trust in.  Trust is worth a million dollars.  As a manager, you can trust that this person will get the work done without the need to be over-managed.  The boss doesn’t like over-managing and neither do we.  Trust also means you can assign someone an important project and it will get done.

A person with initiative will go the extra mile even when no one is around to watch.  When a boss has a person with initiative, they can be relied on to keep a look out for potentially unnoticed or unowned issues.  This kind of person is like a hawk in the field, constantly on the watch, doing what they do naturally.

A person with initiative has growth potential, and while that may sound strange to some, a good manager is constantly looking for their own replacement.  That means growth for them and it means the person could possibly out grow them.  That kind of talent pool is a great leader’s dream.

Initiative is a form of leadership.  A leader has to take responsibility; it’s not just given to them.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they are visionary, but the leader’s vision is developed by what they learn as a result of their experience and observation.  Initiative is the source code for growth.  You simply will go nowhere without it.

Initiative also demonstrates professional maturity.  As an MBA, you clearly are a bright and enterprising person.  If a manager can combine that with someone who will do what it takes to get the job done, no matter the task, the manager has now hit the personnel trifecta.  You are now close to indispensible.  How great is that?

If you’re an MBA grad, or soon to be one, you are probably already applying a certain amount of ambition toward a career goal.  Most people don’t do the graduate work simply for entertainment.  Think about how initiative can be the catalyst for integrating all you’ve learned to get you to your career goal.


And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to the Career Makeover Newsletter AND eWorkbook “Should I Stay or Should I Go” – both dedicated to Your career success, when you visit

http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/  From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from www.nextchapternewlife.com and www.mbahighway.com

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