When ownership is low, getting things done is always hard.
7 signs you’re in a low ownership culture:
- Normal requests are greeted with moaning.
- It’s an ‘every person for themselves’ culture.
- Unhelpfulness is an artform. Volunteering is frowned on.
- One person is doing most of the talking in meetings.
- Absenteeism is high.
- Quality is low.
- Paychecks are the only reason people show up.
2 ways to build a high ownership culture:
#1. Give second chances.
Irresponsible failure earns negative consequences. Responsible failure deserves second chances.
Tolerance is endorsement when failure is involved.
When you tolerate irresponsible behavior, you get more irresponsible behavior. But when you punish responsible failure, people stop trying.
You give the impression failure doesn’t matter when you ignore it. Greet responsible failure with kind inquiry. Use two or three of the following questions.
- What did you learn?
- What factors contributed to this failure?
- What was the point of failure?
- What was left undone?
- What didn’t happen that should have?
- What will you do differently next time?
- What new skill would you like to develop?
- What training might help?
#2. Lower your intensity.
High energy leaders tend to get involved too quickly and solve problems for others too frequently.
When you step in, others step out.
Every problem you solve for competent team members trains them that you will solve their problems.
Every time you tell capable employees how to do their job you suggest they aren’t capable.
- People give their best, but improvement stagnates.
- You repeatedly deal with the same problems or mistakes.
- Frustration levels are rising. Moderate frustration is useful. High frustration is destructive.
- Touch base regularly. Lowering your intensity isn’t about being distant.
- Recognize what people are doing right.
- Ask, “How can I help?” (But avoid doing people’s jobs for them.)
Which of the above suggestions for building high ownership seems most relevant to you?
What suggestions might you add to the ones listed above?