How to Leverage Ownership To Increase Your Leadership

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More leadership initiatives have failed over a lack of ownership than over a lack of talent.

To lead effectively, ownership is the ball game.

Several years ago one of the departments in our organization had launched an initiative that had quickly grown well beyond the scope of that one department. It now was a part of virtually every aspect of the organization.

But with this growth it was now realized that the department who launched it, and that department’s leader, were now merely one part of a much larger whole.

And when the initiative inevitably began to flounder, a leadership meeting was called where a necessary, insightful question was raised; 

“So, who’s leading this thing, anyways?”

The answer to that question would come by delving in to 3 crucial leadership principles. And these are three pretty good principles that can bring clarity to your own leadership too.

If you lead it, you need to own it.

To figure out who should be leading this initiative the first thing we looked for was “Who really owns this?”

“Who lives and breathes these results? Who lies awake thinking about this? Who kicks over trash cans when this initiative isn’t going well?”

Those are signs of ownership.

And the person who has the highest level of ownership needs to be calling the shots.

If you don’t own it, you can’t lead it.

It doesn’t matter what the organization chart says. It doesn’t matter what the business cards say.

Just because an initiative happens to fall within someone’s job description doesn’t make that person the best leader.

If there’s just no ownership, there’s just no leadership.

The higher your ownership, the higher your leadership

Ownership and leadership are inextricably linked. Want to raise your level of leadership? Raise the level of your ownership.

As our team examined these principles, it eventually became clear where the leadership needed to reside. It was with the team, and the leader, who had the biggest ownership stake. Once this was settled, momentum was restored.

Here’s the point. When you look at the things you believe you’ve been called upon to lead, ask yourself, “Do I really have a sense of ownership over this?”

If the answer is “Not really,” take the high road and find out where that level of ownership really does sit.

Chances are, that’s where the real leadership is sitting.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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