No matter what industry you work in, what company you work for or what position you presently hold, you can take ownership in a way that makes your work and as a consequence, you life, more fulfilling. It is said in matters of property that “possession is 9/10ths of the law,” but when it comes to expressing your natural authority within a field of personal responsibility (no matter how large or small), taking ownership has little to do with actual possession.
Taking ownership is more a state of mind than a matter of entitlement. It is a radiant stance made possible by the full assumption of responsibility for a particular field of activity. It is less “the buck stops here” and more “the buck starts here.” A true owner takes pride in his sphere of influence, regardless of its scope or appearance. He’s as much an owner on the back of a garbage truck as he is sitting in a board room.
The best way I know to develop the attitude of an owner is to avoid rationalization and excuse when faced with difficulty, poor performance or even failure…at all costs. A true owner eschews blame, preferring instead to weave the golden thread of victory through the fabric of all he touches. He focuses his attention on points of release while others thrash against the constrictive phases of any process and he never hesitates to go beyond, to give more than is expected of someone in his “pay grade” and to inspire others, especially when things get difficult.
A true owner never says “that’s not my problem.” He instead recognizes the holistic framework in which his field of responsibility is contained. He’s not afraid to reach out to others to get or give help. He makes his most significant but often least acknowledged contributions in the no man’s land between his field of function and that of others. Finally, he always pushes himself to raise his personal bar no matter how uncomfortable he is in the process, that others may follow his example.