Being an owner

back view of a person standing on a vast green grass field

When working in a company or within a team on a project, the most effective way to perform in the team is to put yourself in your direct manager’s position. How might they view the question you’re looking to answer? What might they see as the most important priority on the list for the team to work on? This approach bubbles up all the way to the head of the company. How might the CEO/Managing Director view the business?

Ultimately, when laddering up this thinking, the result is to think like the owner. If this were your company, how might you think differently about the work you’re doing? Who might you speak with to best understand how to make an impact?

There are lots of questions in the beginning of this post, which lead to the concept of ownership. Being an owner of the impact you’re driving is the first step in cultivating ownership overall.

Ownership, as I see it, is a combination of Daniel Pink’s “autonomy” and “purpose” principles, outlined in his book “Drive”. “Mastery”, Pink’s third principle, is one we most commonly start with. As a master of one’s craft, this craft represents one’s comfort zone. Mastery is also the springboard towards more autonomy, and more purpose in one’s work.

Shift your focus to ownership, starting with mastery of the craft, acting like the owner to drive more autonomy and purpose.

At the end of the day, ownership is a mindset and an approach. It is about discipline in one’s day, conviction in one’s trajectory, and remaining humble enough to realise we don’t know it all, and that our customers hold at least 50% of the data we need in order to make clear decisions. Talk to customers, compare notes with internal data, and make the best decision you can with the data you have, all the while thinking of the wider picture as an owner.

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