Friday, December 13, 2013

Thoughts on Ownership

We're not talking ownership as to who owns the car--you or the bank; who owns the house, you or the mortgage company...we're talking about ownership of a process or an organization.
What brought all this to mind this morning was recently noticing the lack of ownership within organizations when those within it don't recognize that its future and success is at least somewhat dependent on them, and their own future and success is at least somewhat dependent on the that of the organization.
A good friend runs a business. He's the third generation of his family to do so. Within the business is a sense of ownership. Everyone behaves as if the future of the organization depends on him. This has resulted in great cohesiveness within the company, longevity and prosperity among the workers, as well as growth and prosperity for the company and its owners. Along the way, the company has a very loyal base of customers who are well served by the team effort the organization displays, which is what makes the business flourish. Everyone wins!
My wife and I have a few favorite restaurants. Probably the most favorite is one in a very out of the way place in Maine. You really have to intend to eat there as it's not on the way to any place else. What we've observed there is that everyone seems to be always busy--even if it's doing little things. The one thing that really caught my attention was the man we recognize as the manager, or possibly the owner, was picking up the paper towels from the floor in the bath room as well as wiping down the mess around the sink (though not with the towels from the floor!) I've no doubt that his example is not lost on the others within the place, they all seem to be exceptionally helpful and hard working. The place thrives, having received some national recognition, though it's small and out of the way.
It would be nice to blame this problem and attitude on the "younger generation" but the more I look around, the more I see it happening at all levels. So, if you're reading this, please examine yourself. Are you an owner or an occupier? Do you make yourself a part of those things to which you are attached, or do you just hang on for the ride, doing the minimum amount necessary?
Take ownership folks. Help your employer, organization...whatever, thrive. Be part of its success not its mediocrity.

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