Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Thought for the Day - Add Gratitude and Change the Quality of Ownership

The concept of ownership at work is a key one. Perhaps the only one that needs to be imbibed.

It is that aspect of 'owning' the space that makes people go beyond the call of duty, beyond normal. It is what we call accountability, responsibility and excellence. People who own their jobs are those that employers and managers love to have because they will take the idea and run with it, many times they have their own ideas of how to do things and they think of almost every possibility that has to be done to complete the job. They seem to love that state of being. Of owning.

But we find that most times employees or new members in a team have a what's-in-it-for-me attitude. The frequent refrain is 'That's -not-my-job'. This is a transactional view of the world where the member will only give as much as he thinks is necessary for what he is getting. As we can see , it is a pretty short sighted and narrow minded view which stunts the person's growth first and then that of the organisation.

Naturally, in almost every kind of team, we constantly talk of people taking more ownership. But by experience I know it's easier said than done. The act of going beyond the call of duty, of taking complete responsibility, of single handedly affecting the balance and creating outcomes and seeing  a visible change is something one must be encouraged to experience once. It is addictive.

So naturally, we discuss ownership a lot these days at the training sessions at Gap Miners.

Last week we did a small session first on the importance of being grateful. For our very existence. I asked the team to do a small exercise and list all the people in the world who supported, or who somehow helped sustain, their identity. It would pretty much be any one - from family, friends, vendors, superstars, employers - anyone who gave or took from their identity including their enemies. It ran into a pretty long list and soon we realised that we could not sustain our identity by ourselves - the whole world appeared to be sustaining us. From the love of people around us, to the people we love, to those who we hate and those who hate us, to all the products and services we use and their huge teams world wide...we are connected. We all support one another whether we like it or not.

Then, we connected gratitude to work and discussed how it could change the quality of our work.

You see, we could take ownership rather aggressively or we could take it gently, with love. When we take ownership aggressively it is all about us. When we take it gently, it is about the other. When we add gratitude (to the customer, employee or the vendor) into our equation we cannot but bring a wholesome element of accountability or ownership to the relationship. We are grateful for the customer for giving us business and this brings in a new shade of ownership on how we can improve our service to the customer.

By adding gratitude, we change the quality of ownership.


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