What is holding back your team’s ownership potential?

In any organization, fostering a sense of ownership among employees is crucial for driving success and achieving exceptional results. It’s easy to start thinking it’s them, it’s not me. However, if your team, squad, tribe, or organization lacks ownership, it might be a good time to take a closer look at your leadership role and way of leading. As a leader, you play a pivotal part in cultivating a culture of ownership and accountability within your team. By reflecting on your practices and behaviors, you can make meaningful changes that empower your employees and promote ownership throughout the organization.

Are You Expecting Mind-Reading Abilities?

One of the first questions a leader should ask is, “Have you established clear expectations?” Are roles, responsibilities, and performance criteria well-defined?And it’s not only that you have established perfect expectations but have your team members understood those too. However beneficial it could be mind-reading is not a skill we advertise in our job ads nor can we require that.

Empowerment: Not Just a Buzzword

Empowerment has become a trend word, and in some cases, it will cause people to stop reading blogs, but like the word or not, it is essential for instilling ownership. Are you giving your team members the authority, autonomy, and resources they need to take ownership? I mean that you involve your team members in decision-making processes and encourage them to contribute their ideas and won’t load your shotgun and pursue the next Skeet star by breaking the ideas into pieces and dropping those on the cold hard ground. We all know empowered employees are likelier to take the initiative and demonstrate ownership of their work.

Embracing Failures and Laughing Together

Have you ever shared and had a good laugh about your F&%# Up? I don’t know if it’s about my personality or that I tend to mess things up a lot, but let me assure you, those are one of the best laughs you can have with your team! Creating an environment that supports risk-taking and learning from failures is one of the biggest wins toward improved ownership. So do you sincerely promote a growth mindset and view failures as opportunities for growth? That would be good for your innovations too.

The Magic Ingredient of Trust

I have been praising my team members, but they are awesome. I know they would keep things going if I were away. And we could cover each other if someone from the team was away. They have the knowledge, and they have my trust. Sometimes I feel like I trust them more than they trust themselves 😉

Trust and collaboration are essential ingredients for a genuine relationship and a culture of ownership. You are on the excellent track if you have managed and made your part in building relationships based on mutual respect and trust with your team members. So keep actively promoting collaboration and create opportunities for open communication and feedback.

Unleashing Ownership Through Appreciation and communication

Communication plays a critical role in fostering ownership, and I feel I have never been able to master this fully. I ask for feedback and frequently reflect on my communication practices. I evaluate objectively whether I effectively convey expectations, goals, and feedback and whether my regular updates are regular and informational enough.

It is essential to recognize and reward individuals who demonstrate ownership and accountability. Make sure you’ll take a moment to assess if you have acknowledged and shown appreciation for the efforts and contributions of your team members.

From Pointing Fingers to Taking Ownership, also from your own actions

Last but not least, am I being aligned with my message? Do I act as I preach?
I strongly feel that I must lead by example regarding ownership. Even if it hurts, and sometimes even if it makes you look bad. Taking ownership of your responsibilities and demonstrating a high level of commitment. Hold yourself accountable for your and your team’s decisions and actions.

Instead of pointing fingers fostering ownership in your organization should start with introspection as a leader. By looking in the mirror and reflecting on your own practices and behaviors, every leader can identify areas for improvement and take proactive steps to cultivate a culture of ownership and accountability. Yes, clear expectations, empowerment, a learning culture, trust, recognition, and effective communication are critical elements in driving ownership, but if you don’t walk the talk, why should the others? As a leader, your commitment to fostering ownership will either inspire and empower or kill the passion of your team members, leading to more tremendous success for the organization as a whole.