Running The Organization As Your Own Business!

By Uju Onwuzulike Chief Results Officer, MCL

“Ownership: 'A commitment of the head, heart, and hands to fix the problem and never again affix the blame”……..John G. Miller

One debilitating factor that has caused business failures in today’s organizations is “I don’t CARE attitude” exhibited by some employees. This “I don’t CARE attitude” is also reflected in phrases like “It is not my business”, or “it is not my father’s business”. The harsh truth is that regardless of any amount of money invested in transforming your organization - with this “I don’t CARE attitude” exhibited by some staff members, achieving a sustainable growth/ progress could be a herculean task. Proactive organizations have employees “that always care.”

A misleading belief or assumption has existed for a long time and that has been, “it is not my responsibility to take my organization to the next level - it is the responsibility of others”. Most employees do not take ownership of the business or where they work seriously. They think that it is only the CEO or the board of directors that own the organizations and as such would not be required to give their all. One of the goals of this insight is to inform all of us that we are all stakeholders in where we work (earn our salaries). There is nothing like superior or inferior stakeholder. All employees are stakeholders and as such should take ownership of the business. Taking ownership is a sure way to show that we want the growth and sustainability of our organizations. It is not by paying lip service. It is by taking actions to do things differently.

Many people are confused and sometimes do not understand what taking business ownership means. They have misconstrued the primary meaning. Taking ownership does not mean you have bought over the business/ organization or you are the CEO/Director, it simply means doing one’s duty as if you are the owner of the business. It also means doing all you can to ensure that the customer is not just satisfied, but will be a “free marketing agent” for your business. It means going the extra mile and doing things differently with the intent of delivering better result for your organization. It means being delighted to be in your place of work. Finally, it means taking care of the business same way you will take care of your personal belongings e.g car. It requires a paradigm shift – from me “it is not my business” to “it is my business”.

During one of my workshops, I asked the participants to name their best day of the week. Much to my chagrin, more than 70 percents said Fridays, and about 20 percent of participants said Mondays. The point here is that most employees do not even want to work; they want to close their eyes and meet Fridays. I am not against Fridays, but the fact is that someone who takes ownership of the business and who is committed will know that his/her success story will start on a Monday. Mondays should be every employee’s delight. The person will be keen to go the office. Surprisingly, most employees on getting to Sunday evening will start grumbling and saying here comes Monday again. That thought alone has set the stage for failure ahead of the week. Funny enough, that same person who has grumbled on a Sunday evening will never say at the end of the month, here comes salary again. The only way to justify our salaries is to take ownership of what we do.

Final note: Whether in a paid or self employment, it is not in our best interest not to take ownership of what we do. Organizations of today cannot afford to have employees who are just there to earn salaries without giving in their best. Every organization desires employees that will help them grow. It is true that when we help our organizations grow one way or the other, we are growing along sides. Some people used to think that it is only when they start their personal business that they will be committed. Even when an employee of today starts his/her business tomorrow, it is only the commitment that has been exhibited today that can be carried to the new business. Any how you look at it; you are doing yourself a favour by being committed to whatever you do. Finally, leaders should ensure that while the employees are striving to grow the organizations, the welfare of employees should be paramount and should not be taken for granted.

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