It’s always good to see people taking the initiative. It doesn’t happen anywhere near as often as it should. Having initiative and taking the initiative is a bit like putting ‘self-starter’ on your CV. Everyone feels it should be on there but few generally do it, at least not early in their careers.

I remember being on a train in London Paddington, about to head west, during the evening rush hour about a decade ago during the time when intercity trains were not just full, they were packed, in a Japanese commuting-style. This particular train was bound for south Wales, but stopped off at Reading, the first major stop 25 mins away and a city that was served by a train every 15 minutes or so. The train was packed, dangerously so.

Many of the travellers were heading for Reading, perhaps 40% of them in my very unscientific estimation. I happened to be standing wedged in a corner of one of the carriages when I overheard the conductor talking to a couple of colleagues. ‘I know what we can do,’ he said. Two minutes later, the conductor came onto the intercom, apologised for the schedule change and announced that the service would not be stopping at Reading.

There was a degree of huffing and puffing, the rain emptied to the point where everyone could just about get a seat, and we took off a few minutes late.

The conductor was probably not authorised to do what he did, but he got the train away, 500 passengers where able to get to their long distance destination on time, and 200 commuters to Reading were delayed 15 minutes getting home.

We need people to take the initiative and shoulder the consequences. That’s how we get stuff done.

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