The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Three Ways to Develop Ownership

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, June 03, 2019
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Joe Tye, a member of The Resiliency Group and CEO of his firm Values Coach Inc., hits the nail on the head when he states that ownership can’t be mandated. Instead, it’s the result of creating a culture that is “heartwired and not hardwired”.

Joe and I met years ago when we both keynoted the national conference of Operating Room Nurses. His passion for building organizational ownership from the inside out caught my attention as solid way to create resilient employees and a resilient practice. Like me, Joe believes that organizations are built around people who have a shared sense of values and mission. This is not something that can be mandated by a mission statement.

Hence, let me offer three ideas to begin this journey to ownership.

First. Recognize that ownership can’t be mandated from the C-Suite and cascaded down.  While the C-suite can have a vision of what “ownership” might look like, the reality is that employees at all levels need to have a say into what “ownership” looks like to them and what gets in the way of one feeling like an owner.

Second. Values are reflected in observable behaviors. To print a statement that says, “employees are our most important asset” is meaningless unless there are actions that support it. When toxic managers are tolerated, when favoritism runs rampant, and when communication is relegated to tweets and texts, it is almost impossible for employees to feel important and valued. I remember one employee who said she saw her manager once. Although his office was down the hall, he only communicated digitally. In fact, he didn’t even know her full name.

Third. Ownership, like trust, must be nurtured or it can be lost. Think about this. Assume I feel like an owner in my organization and take great pride in our product or service. But then, I discover that short-cuts have been made in our product in order to produce the expected profit margin. Or, I have ideas to improve our service but am not encouraged to submit. In fact, my ideas are dismissed without explanation or rationale or the fall back line “it’s too expensive”. One of the skills of resiliency is adaptability which means to look at MANY options. Thus, what at face value might seem “too expensive” could evoke creative ways to expand on an idea.

PS: In case you are wondering, I have no financial ties to anything Joe does. My goal is to put good people together for great results. That’s pay enough.


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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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