Take Ownership, Knowing It’s NOT a One-Man Band

700 631 David DeWolf

So many people want to have ownership, and that makes sense. Economy, ownership, and authority are key aspects of advancement. They’re signs that you are progressing.

However, one of the big mistakes a lot of people make is to assume that when they take ownership, it means that they don’t need help.

A lot of people rightly delegate to those who report to them. The big mistake they make is that they block out those who are close to them as they get more autonomy and more responsibility, along with the authority that naturally follows. They block out their peers and possibly even their managers, their leaders.

The reality is that transparency, collaboration, and leveraging the resources at your disposal are great signs of leadership. But, that said, the best leaders are not those who take on responsibility and authority and then drive them alone, producing nothing but a single result at the end.

Instead, the best leaders are those who get everybody involved. They drive things to completion without managing by consensus, but by leveraging the resources at their disposal for the greatest impact.

Let’s use an example from the sales process. The most effective salespeople are not those who drive the sale themselves. They’re the people who facilitate the right conversations. They know how to surround an account with other individuals who are experts in their organization in order to create strong, healthy relationships. They create company-to-company relationships, as opposed to buyer-to-seller relationships.

The same thing holds true if you are charged with creating a budget. It’s not the responsibility of the budget facilitator or owner to simply put the budget together as they see fit. It’s important to reach out to other collaborators to get buy-in, ideas, and to produce a budget that will work, not one that is simply an idea in someone’s head.

Ownership. Autonomy. Responsibility. Authority. They’re all great signs of progression in the corporate world.

But what goes with ownership, autonomy, responsibility, and authority is the need for individuals to be teammates, to learn to lead through influence in addition to authority, to learn to lead by helping the entire company charge forward in a way that is mutually beneficial for all parties and most especially for the company itself.

So many people want to take the credit for themselves. When you work with humble confidence, it’s not about you, your authority, or your responsibility. It becomes about getting the job done in the most effective and efficient manner. It’s about building a collaborative effort and executing teamwork. It means building consensus and getting buy-in to move the company forward with the task at hand as opposed to how you will look when you are done and whether you will be credited with the success.

You will be much more successful and you will be a much stronger leader when you take ownership in a way that isn’t just a one-man-band approach.

When have you seen people take ownership well? What practices and insights have you learned from their example?