Engagement & Ownership

Knowing who are Owners of an Initiative

  • Who is allowed to make and implement a decision that will upset someone?
  • Who is getting the credit? (Really)
  • Who will have to apologise if something goes seriously awry?
  • Who would receive the bonus? (if one were on offer)

Jim Collins work on continuous improvement in organizations highlighted the power of a level 5 leader, much of which is spent in sharing ownership. The characteristics of a level 5 leader can be summarised as;

  • Self-confidence so they don’t worry about judgement of their legacy allowing them to set up their successors for success.
  • Humility and modesty so they avoid the charismatic leadership trap.
  • An unwavering resolve or passion for continuous improvement, so they model what they want to see in their entire team.
  • Diligence which shows itself in attention to detail and completion of even the minor tasks required for success.
  • Honesty and selflessness whereby they give credit to others for their success and take full responsibility for poor results.

It would be great to say that everyone in your team is just waiting for the chance to take ownership of part of the project, but we all know that isn’t the case. There are people for whom reaching commitment to the project and engagement in its implementation is a great outcome. It is in everyone’s interest however to be observant and aware enough to see the ones who are capable and interested in going beyond engagement and taking ownership because this will certainly lead to deeper and stronger support by increasing the number of champions for the project across the organization. The graphic below shows the characteristics that leaders should seek in assigning ownership or finding champions for change.

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