With my book launch coming up next week, I’ve been asked about the power of the ownership mindset and why I wrote the book. So, in this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice from a CEO, I share why it’s so powerful and how to help your employees embrace ownership thinking.
Why I Wrote “The Ownership Mindset”
I learned the power of the ownership mindset as I rebuilt my life after hitting rock bottom 17 years ago. Back then, I definitely wasn’t owning it. But to change my life, I had to take responsibility for how I got myself in such a bad situation. When I decided to take full responsibility for everything that happened in my life, I empowered myself to change my life. When I went to work for StoneAge, an employee-owned company, the founders taught me how to think and act like an owner. Soon, I found I was so engaged in my job that my personal and professional success skyrocketed. I wrote the book based on my almost two decades of cultivating the ownership mindset within myself and my team.
What is the Ownership Mindset?
It’s the mindset of taking full responsibility for everything that happens in your life. It’s showing up, doing the work, and caring deeply about your work and life. It’s holding yourself accountable to your teammates and company. It’s finding purpose and meaning in your work so that you job is more than a means to an end. It’s a vocation that brings you purpose and joy.
Why it Matters in the Workplace?
A survey by Gallup found that companies with high employee engagement, a key component of the ownership mindset, experience 17% higher productivity and 21% greater profitability. I’ve found this to be true in myself and others as we’ve embraced ownership thinking. Rather than regard their tasks as obligations, our employee owners perceive themselves as an integral part of the organization and take pride in solving challenging problems for our customers. Their sense of purpose fuels a deep passion for excellence and a desire to make meaningful and impactful contributions.
The intrinsic link between the ownership mindset and employee engagement is compelling. I have learned firsthand how engaged employees exhibit a profound alignment with the company’s vision and values, resulting in a heightened commitment and enthusiasm toward their work. The best compliment we receive is when our customers visit us and say, “I’ve never seen such happy people who love their jobs so much!”
How to Cultivate the Ownership Mindset
1. Lead by Example: As a leader, whether by title or by influence, you play a pivotal role in shaping ownership thinking within your team. But you must role model it first. When you exhibit ownership, accountability, and passion for your work, you set a compelling example for your team.
2. Set Clear Goals and Provide Autonomy: Establishing clear and achievable goals empowers employees to take ownership of their work. When individuals are given autonomy and decision-making authority within their roles, they feel a stronger sense of responsibility for their actions and outcomes.
3. Recognize and Reward Initiative: Recognizing employees who take the initiative or go above and beyond inspires people to give more and encourages the ownership mindset to flourish. Almost no one receives enough positive feedback and recognition. It’s easy to give and has a high impact; you just have to commit to doing it.
4. Promote a Learning Culture: Investing in employee development and growth demonstrates your company’s commitment to your employees. People are more engaged when they know their manager is invested in their growth.
5. Encourage Open Communication and Transparency: When employees are informed about your company’s vision, challenges, and progress, they feel more connected and invested in the organization’s success.
I’ve found the ownership mindset to be transformative. It not only helped me climb my way out of rock bottom, but it also propelled StoneAge toward success. It empowered my team to take responsibility, contribute creatively, and drive innovation. We wouldn’t be where we are today without sharing the Own It Mindset. As more organizations recognize the potential of this approach, they pave the way for a future where passion and dedication are the driving forces behind workplace excellence.
Question of the Week
This week’s question comes from someone on LinkedIn who said, “Last week, a coworker criticized me in a meeting, and I felt embarrassed and undermined. How should I handle it?
During the episode, I give my tips on how to handle this situation with grace and as a growth opportunity.
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