The unfortunate truth in many businesses is that employees often do just enough for their company to avoid getting fired. When employees perform to the bare minimum, it’s because they have a renter’s mentality – not an owner’s mentality.
For example, have you ever known someone who ran over a pothole in a rental car? They probably exclaimed, “No worries! It’s a rental!” Renters just don’t have skin in the game.
Employees who think like renters don’t feel tied to the success of their employer. In contrast, employees who think like owners care deeply about generating results.
It’s the leader’s job to encourage an owner’s mentality, but you can’t just demand that everyone constantly ask, “Is this good for the company?” Remember the infamous boss in the movie, Office Space? This shallow approach won’t win over any hearts and minds because it lacks authenticity.
To encourage ownership thinking, you must embrace and provide what people need most from their work environment:
- People want to feel like they are making a difference.
- They want to feel that they are part of something big.
- They want some sense of control over how things are done.
- They want to know that their opinions matter.
- They want recognition when they do something great.
It’s up to you as a leader to deliver on these very reasonable, human expectations.
But if you’re an employee who’s not in a leadership position, why should you think like an owner? What’s in it for you?
- Employees who regularly assume ownership of tasks distinguish themselves as future leaders.
- Anything worth doing is worth doing right.
- Your time and talent is all you really have to trade no matter what field you’re in. Why not invest your time for the highest good?
- Owners display a solid work ethic that will always serve them well. Even if your current employer doesn’t recognize you for it, you can always take your work ethic elsewhere.