The journey from projecting to ownership

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Written by Mihaela Berciu on 21 May 2021 in Opinion

Mihaela Berciu looks at the importance of accountability and ownership.

Accountability makes the difference between success and failure. By taking accountability, one takes ownership of actions, decision making and of the results.

When people take no accountability for their actions and things start to go awry, because they don't feel ownership, they get into spectator mode and watch as things fail. If they thought it would fail from the outset, which would be even worse - they go into 'I told you so' mode, which nearly always becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In other words, when people do things for the sake of doing them or because they were told to do so, they act mechanically without being invested in the outcome. They place responsibility with others, so they don’t care what the result is.

This level of disengagement leads to very little progress, if any, and comes at a high cost, both personally and professionally, not to mention financially in the case of a business.

There’s also the cost to self, as people who are disengaged can easily lose interest in their own wellbeing and can slip into feeling depressed, which, if not addressed, can potentially lead to more grimmer scenarios.

When people do things for the sake of doing them or because they were told to do so, they act mechanically without being invested in the outcome.

People are either 'not engaged' or 'actively disengaged'. Regardless of whether in their professional or personal life, those who are not engaged show up and do just enough to get by. Actively disengaged people, on the other hand, are actively working against either the organisation they work for or against the relationship(s) they’re in.

Needless to emphasise how limiting such behaviours can be for both the self and others! That, of course, applies in the relationship with the self too.

In the case of leadership, when leaders are disengaged and fail to take ownership, they end up leading a group of people who also fail to take ownership of their actions, show zero effort and refrain from contributing with any ideas.

Same applies for personal relationships. Whether couples, friends, relatives, when one is feeling disengaged professionally, it will show in the personal life too and vice-versa.

By taking ownership, one takes the time to think of the best ways of action, takes into consideration the impact it might have, is prepared for whatever outcome, refrains from blaming others and celebrates success with all people involved.

Ownership means being responsible, being confident, knowing your worth and trusting your judgement. Ownership doesn’t mean being a one-man band, it means thinking of your team and yourself as one unit, regardless of whether that team is your colleagues or your close ones.

Ownership means being unafraid of consequences and not allowing such a fear dictate the actions, it means rising above the personal good for the good of the collective. Refrain from finding excuses for why you behave a certain way, that’s your ego working hard to keep you captive in those patterns of behaviour.

Note to the reader: To identify the differences between the two, and where you’re standing, I encourage you to look around you at your colleagues and friends and pay attention to their behaviour. Notice who is acting quieter than they normally would, or they might be angrier than their regular selves. Raise your awareness and observe their behaviour, pay more attention than you would typically. What do you notice?


About the author

Mihaela Berciu is an Architect of Leaders who creates fundamental and long-lasting change for C-Suite Executives and Business Owners, using The Core Values MatrixTM blueprint.


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