Insights from the author
So much has been written about the concept of ownership, and it's something that often comes up in coaching and supporting our clients. Interestingly enough, you can get many different thoughts and definitions on what ownership means. But, there is one common theme that arises. People, especially leaders, want to know how to promote ownership within their teams.
At TIGNUM, we see ownership as one of the many skills that can make up a performance mindset. It’s an important component, just like vulnerability, curiosity, mental agility, and even humor. Like all performance mindset skills, ownership isn’t some genetic trait you are born with or not. Instead, it's something that can and must be developed and grown over time.
Ownership isn’t just taking charge of a project. It’s more than just taking responsibility or accountability for consequences and outcomes. Ownership goes beyond things like seniority or titles. In our view, ownership comes down to the choices you make in giving yourself the best chance to be your best self. Here are three areas where we see a new perspective on ownership being impactful.
.01 Think about the last time you prepared for a big presentation, meeting, or one-on-one. How did you prepare? You probably reviewed your notes, slides, data, etc., which are all great methods from a technical perspective. But how did you prepare yourself? Did you think about how you wanted to be perceived through your body language, verbal tone, or emotions? Did you purposefully energize or calm yourself so that you had the right amount of energy? Did you plan your food, caffeine, or proper hydration to ensure your brain and body had the best possible nutrients to help your brain perform? This type of preparation is taking true ownership. It’s ownership over one’s self to ensure that we have prepared ourselves, not just our work.
.02 Another interesting aspect of ownership is what you choose to focus on. Having true ownership is choosing to focus on things within your control. It’s focusing on the things you can do versus the things you cannot do. We see wonderful examples of this with Paralympic athletes. When they give interviews, these athletes focus on their strengths and the things they can do, instead of focusing or spending energy on the things they can’t do or the things outside of their control.
.03 True ownership is making the most out of what you have. Fatigue is a common experience for all of us. But how we choose to view and allow it to influence us is not as common. When we are fatigued, we can choose to let it be something that takes us away from being our best selves. It’s easy for us to say, “I’m only at 70% today, so I’m not going to be at my best.” It’s a lot harder for us to choose to say, “I’m going to give 100% of my 70% today.” One of these mindsets primes you to feel fatigued and ineffective, and the other focuses on owning and maximizing your energy and focus.
Finally, taking ownership isn’t just about successes and failures. After all, you cannot guarantee success. But, by practicing true ownership, you can guarantee yourself the chance to be successful. By making better choices on your actions, routines, what you focus on, and how you prepare, you’ve strategically transformed yourself into a Sustainable High Performer.