Word-Of-the-Week #736: Ownership

September 13, 2018 by  

Ownership –holding yourself accountable for your actions and how you do your job. 

Are you always accountable for your actions? How easy is it for you to admit when you’ve made a mistake?

This week long time friend and subscriber Joe (who is not a CEO) shares his thoughts from last week’s WOW on being accountable at work.

“I have been fortunate in my workplace experience that my co-workers could depend on what I said and what I did. Also, when I said something, I meant it. 

However, when I knew that I could not have something completed when it was needed by a co-worker or supervisor, I was forthright in telling them that I could not complete the task when they wanted it. In those cases, I usually asked when their drop-dead deadline was, when they absolutely, positively had to have it done. I then took care of whatever it was in a timely fashion. The key was to be upfront about what could be completed and when. 

One thing my wife and I are is decisive. When we are presented with a situation we look at the pros and cons and make a decision. Not a rush to judgment, mind you, but a clearheaded yes or no when time was tight. Indecision leads to wasted time and money in the workplace. Don’t go back and forth on how something should or should not look or have to start from scratch. That way you won’t get anything done. And as you know, Susan, that is too many businesses today. 

The best way to manage relationships in the office is to let the talented people do their thing and stay out of their way. They were hired to do a job, so let them do it. There are too many micro managers in offices today who simply want the credit for what their talented people do. When they do a good job, compliment them and tell the world that it was they who deserve the credit for a job well done. The manager will also get credit simply for hiring those good people. 

While I have been able to adapt in the workplace I am not necessarily a fast learner. I am not quick on the uptick. After making a few mistakes I usually catch on, but I am not fast. I don’t have those fast-twitch cells in my muscles. 

When I have made mistakes in the past, I was the first to admit them. What I have found in those situations is that we earn our co-workers and supervisors respect when we stand up and say, “It was my bad.” That also lets people in the office know they should do the same thing.  

If there is anything I have learned in the workplace is that you can’t be afraid to make a mistake. Not only will you not learn to do your job, you will approach every new task with trepidation. If you are afraid to make a mistake, you will never learn.” 

This week’s focus is on taking ownership. Do you take full responsibility for your actions? Are you doing the best job you possibly can? If you were the CEO would you act any differently?

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