Initiative: The Real X-Factor

At this very moment, you could be doing more. It’s 4:15 AM? There are two papers you’re writing simultaneously while perusing Elite Daily for tips to stop your current procrastination, the room smells like half smoked cigarettes and you’re out of weed.

Class is in 4 hours, if not that, work is in 3. Generation Y has never been about fitting in, we’re about sticking out. We award innovation, not regurgitation and at the core of this conceit is one sticky word...Initiative: The ability to access and initiate things independently and make forward progress.

This is our creed, what you have now isn’t too little, it’s less than you deserve. Less than you’ve worked for, or maybe you just didn’t work hard enough to start? Do you have...Initiative?


When the alarm goes off, how many times do you push the snooze button? If the answer is anything other than 3+ times, congratulations you are the Phronimos, I cannot fault you.

But for we humans, when that drilling tone reverberates off the bedside and disrupts the pleasant reprise of sleep, most of us are pretty irate. Stop. The alarm is your friend, it just Initiated your day. Say thank you, turn that annoying shit off and go get dressed.

It’s Monday, start the week right with your clothing. Taking the extra time to do a double windsor, because that’s the proper knot, is Initiative. You know how to excel, push yourself and do it.

Don’t stop at the tie: be presentable, be shaven, be sober. Wear your newly polished slim leather boots and make an impression on everyone you see, smile at the woman who has a kind face, present yourself well.

Now it’s Tuesday. Pushing for that raise yesterday was risky, but you earned it and the boss knows that too, so good thing you made a strong case! Now take the next step: access, strategize and mobilize.

The raise was good, but the corner office is a better long term goal, so start preparing from day 1. Initiative is doing without being told to do, it is the inert ability some of us possess to figuratively (and sometimes literally) make something of nothing.

Tell the boss your numbers have increased for 4 consecutive quarters, you have no sexual harrasment allegations pending, and state “I am this job.” If the record is clear and honest, it shouldn’t be much of an argument and WHAM. Promotion part two, thank you Initiative.

Women and Initiative...where to start. In our modern dating culture (or lack thereof), the one night stand has never been bigger, and there's the handy invention of the FWB, or "Fuck Buddies". Whatever gets our rocks off without commitment.

This is iterated on the male side by the argument “we’re young men, let us do as we will” which, while not grounded in hard science, has been the law of the land for some time now for better or worse.

Now, any woman under the age of 40 is starting to draw closer and closer to the male standard. Is this a good thing, a bad thing? I don’t know, I’m a displaced New Yorker trying to understand the Midwest and encourage a culture of Initiative.

Culture of the Initiative is where we will conclude for now because it really is the core of what differentiates what is “ELITE” from what is not. The Elite do: they think, postulate and calculate with a knowledge of both history and the present before making an informed decision.

If that decision is going to Killroy’s instead of a Frat Party, that isn’t my place to judge, but the man or woman who proposes the plan, leads them there and makes sure there’s beer...he or she has Initiative.


You can gain and lose your Initiative. So for posterity’s sake, let us remember the words of Commander Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterprise when trying to define those with Initiative, as he would say, they are those who “Make It So.”

Sam Braverman | Elite.