On any team, or in any organization, responsibility for success and failure rests with the person in charge, even if it was someone else who screwed up. The executive must “own” everything in their own world, and take full responsibility for the outcomes. The leader must acknowledge mistakes, admit failures, take ownership of them, and develop a revised plan to reach the agreed goals. Only then can you take Conscious Ownership of your team.
The most successful leaders take Conscious Ownership of everything that impacts their goals. The very best leaders direct high performing teams of managers and front liners to extraordinary team and individual successes. This concept is the number one trait of any high-performing, winning team in business or industry.
When subordinates aren’t doing what they should, executives who exercise Conscious Ownership don’t blame their managers. They first look in the mirror at themselves. The executive has to be able to explain their strategic goals, develop the steps, and secure the necessary tools to enable the newly aligned team to successfully and properly make the plan happen.
If an individual on a team is not performing at the level required for correct completion of the plan, the manager needs to be ready to train and mentor the person not acting according to the plan. But if the under-performing individual continually fails to meet the standard, then a leader who exercises Conscious Ownership will be loyal to the team goals above any individual. If the under-performing staff member doesn’t improve, the leader must, and soon does, make the tough call to terminate them and hire someone who can get the job done. It is on the responsible leader alone to make this call.
As humans, we often attribute success or failure of others to luck. Total responsibility for failure is a difficult concept to accept, and taking Conscious Ownership when things go wrong requires exceptional levels of humility and courage. But doing just that is critical when learning and growing as a leader.
Conscious Ownership necessitates that executives look at their organization’s problems through the dispassionate lens of reality. It requires an executive or manager set ego aside, address weaknesses and consistently work to build a more aligned team; one that performs at a high level and effectively achieves the goals of the business. Such a leader, however, does not take credit for his or her team’s successes, but rather bestows the awards to junior leaders and team members. When a leader sets an example of that kind, and expects the same from middle managers within the team, the mindset quickly develops and grows into the company’s culture at every level. With Conscious Ownership, middle managers may take charge of their smaller teams and their part of the plan.
Efficiency and effectiveness increase and a high-performance, aligned, winning team is the result.
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Frank Hopkins is a life coach in Baton Rouge who is certified as a Professional Coach (CPC) by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Frank has helped numerous people to go through business changes in a way that is positive and transformative.