Creating climates where individuals freely assume ownership of their actions, tasks, jobs, clients, themselves, and the reputation of their nonprofit, comes down to a simple sequence of interlinked actions. In working with for-profit and nonprofit organizations over the two past decades, I have seen a clear model rise that differentiates the winners from the losers.
Winning organizations and individuals freely assume ownership and do not engage in the excuse game for not attaining performance expectations. But taking ownership is a byproduct of three other more-important elements. How you go about assuming ownership, and how you go about creating a climate whereby others assume ownership of their job, responsibilities, themselves and the organization overall, can be achieved by understanding how five factors or elements are interlinked and, thus, where your first energies must be directed.
So the burning question in most leaders’ (as well as parents’) minds is this: How do we go about getting others to assume a higher level of ownership? And, with this, I began my homework assignment. I have learned the following.
1. The starting point may not be what you and your organizational approaches have been doing historically. When you know what the depth of your or another person’s skills and abilities are, and you draw upon those skills and apply, delegate, and task-manage them appropriately, you experience success in accomplishment or a self-victory. When you experience a VICTORY, your self-esteem goes up.
2. When you are victorious, you become significantly more MOTIVATED about applying yourself, assume more responsibility, and become more excited about participating. At this point, the necessity of establishing incentive and motivational programs and initiatives becomes less appropriate.
3. When you become motivated, overseeing your victories and successes, you become significantly more PASSIONATE about life and the endeavors you apply yourself to.
4. You will take OWNERSHIP of those things and of people you are passionate about.
5. And getting people to take more ownership starts by setting them up for VICTORY!
The cycle creates an addiction to victory, causing you to seek ever more opportunities to showcase your best skills and abilities for more achievement and success.
I realized the model by doing a reverse analysis of some of the most successful businesses of many of my clients. People who assume OWNERSHIP seem to be among the most PASSIONATE at what they do. Those who have high passion for what they do are continuously MOTIVATED by what they do. And this only happens when people are set up for VICTORIES by doing those things which they are best mentally and physically equipped to undertake. All of this feeds one’s self-esteem, and when one operates from a high level of self-esteem, it is both exciting to see what one can accomplish and what one willingly takes OWNERSHIP of!
Jeffrey Magee (Ph.D., PDM, CSP, CMC) is the Thought Leader’s Leader. He is a columnist, the publisher of Performance360 Magazine, editor of Performance Execution and Performance Driven Selling blogs, a former nationally-syndicated radio talk show host, author of many books, and recipient of the USJC TOYA award. A motivational-leadership speaker, he is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers in the world. DrJeffSpeaks@aol.com
This article is reprinted from the Legacy Special Edition of Nonprofit Performance Magazine. Subscribe today so that you won’t miss other actionable articles that will help you run your nonprofit organization with less pain and more gain!
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As the famous British Composer and Conductor Ralph Vaughan Williams once said, “Music does not reveal all of its secrets to just one person.” If you replace the word “Music” with the word “Leadership” or “Team” or “Strategy” etc., then we all give and receive value from others. That’s the spirit of the Tuesday afternoon Nonprofit Exchange encounters, sponsored by SynerVision Leadership Foundation’s “Community for Community Builders.”
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