It’s easy to tell yourself or your teammate to “take ownership” of a problem or situation.
But how do you actually do that? How do you “take ownership” of something?
Here are the 4 steps to take ownership of a problem.
If you’ve listened to any modern motivational or leadership instruction media lately, you are likely to hear the commentator tell you to “take ownership” of your life, of your team, of your relationship, or pretty much anything else in your life. Ownership is a buzzword right now, and for good reason! The concept of owning a situation, taking responsibility, and doing whatever it takes solve the problem is inspiring and powerful. We all want to be known as a person who owns a vision. We all desire to be part of a team that doesn’t shirk responsibility, but meets challenges head-on and solves them. On the contrary, we have all seen leaders, politicians, and athletes blame other people and not take responsibility for their actions or a problem, which is disgusting at times.
So with all this talk of ownership, how do we actually go and do that? Unfortunately, you can’t just say “I take ownership”, and BOOM, your problems are solved (I’ve tried, it doesn’t work). There is a process to actually taking ownership, and it is worth following because the end result is actually doing something meaningful. Check out these 4 steps below – I’ve thought hard about each of these. As a bonus, I’ve included you can answer and apply to become a person who takes ownership.
First things first, you have to define your problem. But it’s more than just saying “this is my problem”. I use the term “mapping” because it is critical to understand every aspect of your problem, which means stepping back and observing the entire situation. You need to know what is causing the problem, who/what is involved, what are the obstacles, what is in and out of your control, and what the future effects are if this is unsolved. Think about a military general planning to invade a city. He doesn’t plan his attack only by looking at a dot on the map. He understands the roads into and out of the city, knows the terrain features, considers the mountains or rivers that might be obstacles, and ultimately understand every aspect of the environment before acting.
What’s your problem or vision?
What caused it?
Why is it an issue? What are the effects?
Who is involved?
What happens if you don’t act to resolve it?
Admit Fault & Responsibility
How are you at fault for this problem?
How did your actions (or inaction) create this problem?
How is this your problem and no one else’s?
Solve and Decide
What do you need to do to solve this?
Who can you bring in to give you advice?
What essential research or knowledge do you need?
What resources are required?
When is your deadline to make a decision?
How will you communicate your decision?
How can you measure your progress to the end goal?
What is your “half-way point”?
What are the dates you can evaluate your progress?
Do you need ownership in your organization or personal life? Bring Andrew to your organization or sign up for a personal coaching workshop. Let’s do Big Things!