What does ownership even mean? One meaning would be the things you own, your possessions. In this post, I will share my thoughts about ownership in daily life, in teams and more in a business sense.
When you are part of a team, leadership and ownership are very important. To be a good leader you got to understand ownership. But we won’t dive into leadership in this article. If you want to read an article with an interesting point of view about leadership, I’ll leave a link at the end of the article.
Your role in a team – take ownership
At your workplace, in sports, in the military, maybe in a hobby project of yours: you are part of a team and you have a certain role. When you have a certain role, you will probably have certain responsibilities. When you have certain responsibilities you should try to do them as best as you can. And that’s what most people do and sometimes people tend to say: “that’s not my responsibility”. Of course, people say that… Because they are told to do certain things and that’s it. Do you think if everybody thinks like that a team will reach its full potential? Is that even a team if everybody thinks like that? Doesn’t being a team mean to work as best as you can together? It should, right?
Working together by “owning” things
If you look at a team from a different angle: If everybody has a certain role… shouldn’t it be everybody’s responsibility that everybody can work as best as they can? If everybody makes sure that they can do their job as best as they can and maybe also support the other team members to do their job as best as they can… doesn’t that sound like great teamwork? YES! That’s what ownership is about. Owning your mistakes, making sure you can do the best work you can and help others to do their jobs as they can. If you notice something that isn’t working as good as it could: say something! Talk to the other team members, maybe they can help. If there is something the other team members can do to help you: say something! If another team member needs help with something and you feel like you can help with that: say something! That’s what ownership is. Not just looking at work as a list of things you have to do, but thinking further.
Put your ego aside
Often not every team member has this ownership mentality because their ego gets in the way. It’s hard to stand up and own your mistakes and admit them. It’s hard to say it’s not my job, but it’s the right thing to do. And ownership is not just about work or sports. It’s an attitude in life. When something “bad” happens in your life, do you give others fault for that? Or do you think what you could have done differently or how you can improve? Ownership is a mindset that will help you in every aspect of your life, so stop complaining and feeling out of control and start owning things. You might think: but there are certain things that I can’t control… Yes, you are right! But it is not about those things. It’s about those things that you can control. You have so much power just with your mind! It’s a big shift in thinking for many, but I can tell you it is worth it. People will notice if you have an ownership mindset and in a positive way.
Ownership is your choice
One aspect of course e.g. at work is, that maybe ownership mentality is not rewarded. If you make a mistake you get punished. If you do things your not supposed to your hands get cut off (well, that would be a bit extreme). You get it. I understand that sometimes you can’t practice ownership, because you basically have the wrong leader… or can you? At least you should (and maybe it’s time to change your environment if you are in a situation like that: that is also called ownership).
So, next time before you start complaining about something or someone: think about what YOU can do to improve the situation.
If you want to see ownership from the perspective of the military from 2 navy seals, I really recommend watching the following videos:
If you are interested in why people may not be able to change and start taking ownership of their life, maybe you’ll enjoy reading this post: Thoughts about why there are 2 types of people. Let me know what you think about ownership in the comments 😉
Interesting article about leadership: Ownership isn’t leadership