I suggest today that you informally add to your title the word, Owner. OK, I’m not suggesting this needs to be a formal change with new business cards. And I am certainly not suggesting that you take on the persona of a demanding boss that throws his weight around because he “owns the place.” I am, however, suggesting that you shift your mindset and behaviors to include at least two “owner behaviors.”
Bring Owner Energy and Approach
One big difference between owners and others is energy and approach. Owners are energetically invested because they know without their energy (especially entrepreneurs) their businesses are unlikely to survive, much less thrive. Owners approach moments like they matter, because they do. They know that you can’t predict which moment (or moments) will lead to tipping points–so you have to invest in every moment, every interaction, and every activity like it holds promise–(because it does).
Think about the often visible and tangible difference between a house that is “owned” versus a house that is “rented.” The owner usually has a deeper sense of responsibly to the house than the renter. Owners go beyond the basics of care and bring creative energy to their houses. They leave their creative fingerprints all over the house and proactively ensure big and little issues are resolved before they create more damage or expense. When something goes wrong for “renters” their first thought is, “Boy, I’m glad this isn’t my issue. Time to call the owner.” The renter’s mindset is, “Why should I go out of my way to make this house better, I don’t own it.”
The good news is that the renter mentality doesn’t have to overtake you at work or in your endeavors. It is possible to evoke and exhibit the owner/entrepreneur mentality and corresponding behaviors even if you don’t own the business. They key is to own where you stand— and what you do— as if you did own the business regardless of your financial stake. That means bring emotional and strategic engagement to your work regardless of your financial stake. The most successful non-owners I’ve coached or worked with all demonstrate this ability to own where they stand and what they do. They work to ingeniously move the organization forward—thinking, feeling and executing like it was their own.
Move From Mindless to Result-Oriented Action
The obsession of owners/entrepreneurs is to achieve better results. They are driven by the possibility of “the better.” They aim all their resources at this obsession. And how do we get better—whatever better happens to be? Owners are always asking questions that challenge the current state of things EVEN WHEN the current state of things is good. Here’s a little secret:
The time to disrupt your work is while you’re still successful.
[Tweet “The time to disrupt your work is while you’re still successful. @davefleming360”]
If you wait until you’re failing to disrupt your work, you make it 10X’s harder to get back to better. Owners disrupt while they’re still smiling.
There are many more qualities of an owner/entrepreneur — we could probably recite them together. But these two--owner energy/approach and results-oriented action are essential for your success whether you’re a front line employee or a C-Suite executive (or the actual owner). We could say it this way: It kind of comes down to “how you show up” and “how you behave once you arrive.”