The term “self-starter” is thrown around a lot these days. I think it is the #1 quality of a smart professional. Employers say they want self-starters to join their businesses, people talk about being self-starters in describing their work habits and career goals, and multitudes of purported self-starters abound in résumé slush piles. But what does it really take to occupy this vaunted position, to become a real master of your own destiny and leader of others? The modern professional needs to bring more than just a great ideas and a lot of courage.