What Percentage Of Your Organization and Work Do You Own And Stand By?
Leadership Lesson: Anyone with any semblance of leadership development or aspirations needs to realize and determine how much of their environment falls in their hands and their ownership.
That question isn’t meant to be answered in terms of legal ownership or number of shares owned. The question means to ask specifically, How much of the outcomes of your organization, team, group, or mission are you invested in?
And, again, “investment” isn’t meant in financial terms, but instead indicates commitment.
The results borne out of the work of your organization or group — how much of that are you committed to? How much are you committed to the quality level of the work, whether it’s a service or product?
Donald Trump recently showed an extreme example of this consideration when he stated that Republicans should just let Obamacare fail due to Congress’ inability to pass any kind of legislation to repeal and/or replace the healthcare act, and he noted that he would not own the failure. The President — the Chief Executive Officer of the United States of America — has stated that he would not be responsible for something that happens on his watch.
Reminder: This post is not a political observation but instead one of leadership effectiveness.
Again, with regard to leadership, Trump’s is an extreme — and obvious — example. Most of us would not be able to turn a blind eye to something we believed was on course to fail. We would have to make every effort to rectify the issue because the avoidance of a breakdown is much less labor intensive and costly than fixing something that has been left to collapse. It would be in our best interest to be proactive toward resolution, instead of reactive to a situation which has buckled.
Three factors should be taken into consideration when it comes to owning one’s environment, whether someone is the official leader or not: the past, present, and future. Do you understand each of them as they pertain to and impact your mission at hand?
Do You Understand The Past?
Do you understand the foundation and evolution of your mission to-date?
It’s important to understand what it is your group or organization stands for so that you know how much is at stake in the work you choose to carry out.
There has been so much work and effort that has gone into getting your group or mission to where it is today. Without understanding what the organization stands for, you will know neither what is at risk nor what can be lost.
Even if the organization isn’t necessarily where you think it should be, it stands today because people within your organization – and most likely a contingent of customers and clients, externally – believed in its mission and work. So the organization has capital. It has a foundation of credibility that should be respected because that base of credibility and confidence remains the perpetual starting point from which to work off of to get to the next level.
Do You Take Stock Of The Present?
Do you understand what your resources are today and what is needed to move forward?
We always need to take stock of what is within our reach, whether it is financial capital or human capital, which we can use to improve the position of our organization or effort.
Without understanding what the true resources and options are, we won’t know what the tools are to move the effort forward.
We also have to be realistic. We might have our opinions about where we believe the organization should go, but we need to understand what the true resources are that are at our disposal. We have to keep expectations realistic.
Also, much in the same way we should understand the past to take stock of our credibility to-date, we need to continue to look at the stakeholders in the present. We need to make sure we move in such a direction and manner that improves our position without forgoing the status of any of those who depend on us.
Episode 5: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead And Win
People want change, but it can’t come over night, especially in politics, where there is too much at stake today to abruptly change the underlying foundation for tomorrow.
A moderate level of disruption is good, but not an earth-shaking approach which will cause stakeholders to lose their stability.
Are You Committed To The Future?
Do you consider the role of perception of your group’s quality and reality of its longevity when it comes to making decisions for the future?
Your face and reputation will be tied to this effort. Are you ready to live with the consequences of the actions? That should be a motivator but it’s not the only one. One needs to also consider what the future impact will be on the stakeholders. Who wins? Who loses? What do they win and lose? How much?
Risk should be measured and calculated. The goal should always be to better the position of stakeholders. It should never put them at risk.
Also, are you putting in place and executing the best practices, decisions, and examples for those who will follow in your footsteps?
We shouldn’t only be committed to the success of our endeavor while we’re a part of it. We should work to ensure that any success and growth are self-sustaining and ongoing, whether by organic growth or because we’ve provided an environment where those who take our place have the tools to maintain that success and outcome.
So, again – how much of your organization do you own?
Are you cognizant of the history of your mission, invested enough to work in the present, to bring about the best future for the stakeholders and clients around you?
Regardless of what took place in the past, when you’re in a position to make a difference, you have to take into account the situation at hand.
What stability and credibility is at stake from the past?
What are the resources around you today which can be used to improve the concerns in the environment?
What is going to provide the overall best future outcome for the stakeholders for which you share and bear responsibility?
No matter how large or small the role you play in a group or organization, you own your share of the outcomes of your organization.
What steps will you take to make sure those outcomes are best they can be for everyone?
How much are you in it?