Taking Ownership

How many times have we all waited for someone to take care of something for us? How many times have we been stalled in a work project, waiting for someone to finish their part? The frustration and loss of time in doing this makes no sense. I say forget it! Let’s try a different strategy. It’s time to take ownership.

So, what does that mean? According to the Harvard Business Review, one of the most egregious momentum killers is waiting for someone else to act, take initiative, or take charge. Most of the time, no one is coming. So, why do we do it? If help isn’t coming, let’s liberate ourselves and take responsibility and move forward. Start believing in yourself as an individual and take stock of the fact that it is, in fact, your responsibility for the quality and timeliness of an outcome. This applies even when you are working with others. It doesn’t mean that you are always in charge of everything. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t collaborate with anyone. It just means that you take ownership of your part and the results.

The same article in the Harvard Business Review went on to discuss that there are a couple of basic things to understand about taking ownership. First, I think we need to be able to tell the difference between fault and responsibility. When we finger point at others or at ourselves when something is not getting done, the perception of fault gets in the way of taking ownership of a difficult problem. Then, the problem still doesn’t get solved. Get rid of the blame game and we will all be more successful. Second, taking ownership frees us up to move toward getting results or finishing a project. Last, we can actually help others not just ourselves by taking ownership. Sounds like a win win to me.

The bottom line is, taking ownership/accountability/responsibility for your part can only help yourself, others, and the project move forward. Blame and finger pointing does nothing but waste time and energy. Don’t waste the energy. Put your big girl panties on, take responsibility and forge ahead!

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