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Without doubt the privilege of exercising one's own initiative is the very last that any ambitious man and woman would wish to give up, for it is obvious that without this privilege noteworthy achievement becomes impossibility in any calling.

Without doubt the privilege of exercising one's own initiative is the very last that any ambitious man and woman would wish to give up, for it is obvious that without this privilege noteworthy achievement becomes impossibility in any calling.


The United States has set a worthy example in the exercise of personal initiative in the field of industry and commerce and in the professions than any other nation of the world.  The subject of organized individual endeavour or initiative describes the methods by which an individual may make purposeful and profitable use of his right to and responsibility for the exercise of personal initiative.
Hear me; no privilege is of benefit if one sleeps upon it.  That is to say, no privilege can be of great benefit to anyone unless it is organize into a definite plan and put into action. 
Let us begin by saying that personal initiative may be likened to the steam in the boiler in this respect: It is the power through which one's plans, aims and purposes are put into action.  It is the antithesis of one of the worst of all human traits, procrastination.
Know this; successful men are known, always, as men of action.  There can be no action without the exercise of one's initiative.  There are two forms of action namely that which one indulges in from the force of necessity and that which one exercises out of choice, on his own free will.
Leadership grows out of the latter; it comes as the result of action in which one engages in response to his own motives and desires.  It is through the exercise of personal initiative that the most humble worker may become an indispensable factor in any business.
 It is through the exercise of this privilege that the humblest day laborer may become the owner of the business in which he works, or raise himself to the ownership of a business of his own.
I have never known of anyone achieving outstanding success without action on his own initiative.  Under our form of government and our industrial system every man is rewarded according to the service he renders through his own initiative.
No one is forced to do anything against his will.  But the way of life is such that it encourages everyone to promote himself through his own efforts into whatever action in life he wishes.  Those who organize their efforts naturally get ahead faster than those who drift, without definite aim of purpose. 
And from analysis of the qualities of leadership, it appears that successful leadership is largely a state of mind or mental attitude.  Leadership is not entirely a question of the proper mental attitude, although that is an important factor.  The successful leader must possess definite knowledge of his life's purpose and work.
Men do not like to follow a leader who obviously knows less about his job than they do.  Most men do not wish to assume the responsibilities of leadership.  Others lack the ambition to put forth the extra effort that must go into successful leadership.
What then is the best method for inspiring men to become leaders in their chosen occupations?  As I have already stated, men do things because of a motive.  Leadership can best be inspired by planting in a man's mind a definite motive that forces him to acquire the qualities of leadership. 
The profit motive is one of the most popular.  When men make up their minds to acquire wealth or attain success, they usually begin to exercise their privileges of personal initiative along lines that develop leadership.
We have many able leaders whose major motive is that of building and creating.  The pride of personal achievement is a strong factor in our way of life.  Beyond the point at which a man acquires economic security, he begins to become motivated largely by his pride of achievement.
Thus one man can eat only one meal at a time, wear one suit of clothes at a time, and sleep in one bed.  After he acquires security in connection with these necessities, he begins to think in terms of desire for public acclaim.  He wishes to become recognized as a successful person.
There may be a few men with the hoarding instinct of the miser. But a majority of the successful men think in terms of the use they can give money instead of endeavoring to accumulate money for the sake of having it.  It has been this desire for self expression, through the use of money, that has made America the great industrial nation that it is.
That is to say, the possession of great riches by one individual may be either a blessing or a curse, according to the use he makes of his riches. 
Let us take John D. Rockefeller, an American, as an example.  He has accumulated a vast fortune, but every dollar of it is at work, developing, extending, expanding some form of useful industrial, business, or philanthropic service.
Through the use of his money, he provides employment to many thousands of men.  But it serves a still higher purpose.  Through the Rockefeller Foundation the Rockefeller fortune is serving mankind in scores of ways that have nothing whatsoever to do with further profits for Mr. Rockefeller.
His fortune is fighting disease and helping to suppress the enemies of mankind in other ways.  It is helping to uncover useful knowledge through scientific research, the benefits of which will extend to generations yet unborn.  The people of America are better off because of the manner in which Mr. Rockefeller has exercised his personal initiative in the accumulation of riches.
And not only the people of the United States of America, but the people of the entire world, including our dear country Nigeria, are benefiting by his initiative and his acquisitive spirit.  What this country needs are not fewer men like Mr. Rockefeller, but more of his type.
It would be difficult to estimate the wealth which by the exercise of his personal initiative, this one man has added to the riches of America.  It probably amounts to billions of dollars.  The private fortune he accumulated for his services is as nothing compared to the wealth his activities added to the nation as a whole.
Wealth we know consists in material things and human experience properly mixed.  And the more important part of the mixture is brains, experience, the desire to build and create, and personal initiative. 
We will become a rich nation if we have a great number of pioneers whose pride of personal achievement has enticed them to exercise their right of individual initiative in all forms of business and industrial activity.
These men may think initially that they are been motivated by the desire for personal riches, but the truth is that they are to be influenced by the much greater desire for personal achievement.  Regardless of the motives by which they were actuated, they will help to convert our country into the world's richest and most progressive nation.
Hear this also even though our form of government is not perfect, I believe it is the best the world has yet discovered.  It provides far greater liberties and privileges of the use of personal initiative than the majority of men in our country are using.
As we know we have vastly greater undeveloped resources than what we are using now.  Let us therefore, not only experiment with our economic system but rather let us make more intelligent use of our present system, to the end that we may make better uses of our great resources.
See you at the top of success.

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