“Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame,” – Jocko’ Willink.
As John finished his sentence, I could see the frustration on his face.
He had just finished a long-winded rant about how nothing was working in his life or real estate business.
His relationship was tense, he wasn’t seeing his children, cashflow had become an issue, there were staff dramas, he had no time, was always feeling overwhelmed, his health was average, he was drinking too much alcohol, and the stress was making him feel exhausted and burnt out.
John found it hard to see a way out of it all and was struggling to find balance or any fulfillment in it.
He was drowning.
And to John, it was everyone else’s fault.
The team, his partner, the banks, the expectations of others and his customers. Everybody else was to blame except John.
John had become a victim and found it easier to make excuses.
Have you ever felt like that?
This scenario was not new to me.
In 10 years of coaching and mentoring real estate business owners and leaders John’s story was common.
What was lacking with John was what we all struggle with at times – taking ownership of what we need to do in life and business to help us stay on top of things and reach our potential.
You see, John didn’t have a life or business problem; John had a ‘taking ownership’ problem.
As Simon Sinek sometimes says, “You are the problem”.
Taking ownership is that moment you choose to be at your best.
It’s the authentic initiative that’s taken when we really step up and own it.
It is more than just being responsible and accountable through obligation; it is the other side of action.
A tangible result and practical transformational outcome.
While most of us mortal humans baulk at the thought of taking ownership, there are many studies that correlate taking ownership with positive benefits. One study by Michele Tugade, a Professor of Psychological Science, suggests that individuals who take ownership of their reactions and actively seek solutions are more resilient and adaptable.
Other studies suggest that taking ownership can impact everything from improving our relationships to increasing our EQ or emotional intelligence.
When you grasp the enormity of taking ownership and the possibilities you can grasp onto, you can see how taking ownership then becomes a superhuman power for reaching human potential.
Here are three ways you can start taking ownership today.
- Stop blaming others.
Start taking control of you. It’s hard to take ownership when we are ‘others focused’ rather than ‘me focused’. Go from blaming to blooming by owning it. Robert Anthony, who has a PhD in Cognitive Psychology, says, “When you blame others you give up your power to change”.
- Stop being a victim.
When we suffer from ‘poor me’ syndrome it’s hard to see any hope and our ability to see a different perspective or a way through issues falters. Our identity gets stuck as a good-for-nothing person. Self-pity shuts down opportunity, so start seeing yourself as a victor not a victim. As novelist Paulo Coelho says, “Facing the difficulties, I can choose either to be a poor victim or a great adventurer”.
- Stop making excuses.
Start finding reasons why you ‘can’ rather than why you ‘can’t’. Taking ownership is being solution-focused not excuse-focused. Remember motivational speaker Jim Rohn says, “If it’s important you will find a way, if it’s not you will find an excuse”.
Imagine if we chose to take ownership for everything we need to.
What would life and business be like?