Leadership Accountability

Thinking and acting like an owner in your business is crucial.

Organizations need to be filled with leaders and employees who are fully responsible, act with greater empowerment, and care deeply about the mission and purpose of the business. Organizations that can nurture this quality will find their people becoming their competitive advantage.

A leader with a strong sense of ownership doesn’t just care about getting the job done; he or she is also concerned about the success of his or her team, other teams, and the business as a whole. These leaders successfully create and implement business strategy because they care about the business as if it were their own. They are highly energetic, passionate about their work, persistent, and determined to achieve high-quality results. True ownership is driven by five principles:

Principle #1: They understand how the business works.

Leaders who exhibit an ownership mentality have a holistic mindset and are acutely aware of how to align the efforts of their team with the needs of other parts of the business. They are plugged into what is going on and work across boundaries with ease. They don’t engage in destructive political games within the organization. They have a genuine concern for the welfare of the business and find ways to actively participate in the company’s success.

Principle #2: They unleash the entrepreneurial spirit.

They have “skin in the game.” They stay optimistic about the possibilities that the future holds and are motivated to set ideas into action. It is their relentless commitment that drives them to work smarter and go above and beyond the basic requirements of the job. Both their hearts and their minds are fully engaged, allowing these leaders to do their best work and go the extra mile—even when they’re in uncharted territory.

Ownership in Business Principle #3: They are fiercely accountable for results.

All leaders make mistakes, take missteps, and encounter resistance—that’s just how it goes. What really matters is making no excuses for miscalculations or errors in judgment. These leaders own up, learn from their mistakes, find the next-best solution, or try a different approach. For example, they might scale back their plans, take smaller steps, or try an unconventional approach. Quite simply, they own their contributions to the situation (good or bad) and then figure out a way forward.

Principle #4: They take ownership of the “white space.”

White space is the undefined area that exists in every business. The white space is where tasks that aren’t assigned to anyone in particular reside, and if they’re left unattended, they will fall between the cracks. Employees and leaders with a strong sense of ownership see the opportunities and possibilities that exist in this space and are willing to work outside of their silos. They bridge the gaps between functions and teams and simply do what needs to be done.

Principle #5: They are fiscally responsible.

These leaders respect the organization’s resources. They are mindful and disciplined when making decisions about how to use the organization’s assets, and when they buy an airline ticket, meal, or office supply, they think about the cost as though they were buying it personally. When people understand how the company makes money, they can have a healthy impact on its financial success.

People too often lack a sense of ownership, remaining disengaged and disconnected from the business. They don’t fully invest themselves in helping it reach its full potential. CMOE has worked with hundreds of organizations to improve employees’ empowerment, commitment, and sense of ownership. Contact CMOE to learn more about how we can help you instill a stronger sense of ownership in your team members.


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About the Author
CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.

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