Taking Ownership

taking ownership

If you never take ownership of anything you will never truly succeed at anything.

Dan Greer


Recently I helped a company get back into compliance.  

It wasn’t the easiest job, traveling around the western US in the heart of winter.

I learned so much though.

First, someone has to take ownership of a project in order for it to truly succeed.  

What I noticed as soon as I got to their admin office was that in the past no one had ever taken ownership of the DOT program.  

Like most companies, it was handed off from person to person, who failed over and over again. Until their compliance was less than 10%.

I stepped in to help them get it back up, and boy did we.  In the first 2 weeks we jumped up to over 40% by the end of the 3rd week it was over 50%.  And as I type this now it sits over 90%.

Want to know what I did that they didn’t do?

I took ownership of the program.  I made the effort to touch as many drivers as humanly possible.  Find out what the issues were and correct them.  

No one else was willing to do it because, and I quote, “This is just too much of a sh** show right now. As soon as it’s back under control then my team can take it on.”

What the heck is that? Who says that?

Only someone who doesn’t want to step up and correct the problem.  Someone who will never truly succeed at ANY project. 

Do you want to know the really sad thing?

A member of their team recently had this project, then they passed it off to someone else because they “couldn’t” find the time.

The truth is that when you have this type of mentality, you are not taking ownership. 

So let’s get into why taking ownership in something is so important. 

When we take ownership we are going to make sure that it succeeds. 

There is no, “Well we gave it our best shot.” Or “Hey it’s not my fault a1/3 of the company didn’t come to see me when we were traveling around to every single location” (which actually happened)

When someone actually takes ownership of a project, there is nothing, NOTHING that can stop it from happening.  

That’s why it’s so important to take ownership of what you’re doing.  

Let’s say that you start a new project but are only about ½ committed to it.  What do you think is going to happen?

It has only got about a 25% chance of surviving the initial process of getting off the ground.  

What about if you commit 125% then what happens?

There is no chance that the process won’t succeed because you are giving it everything you have. 

When obstacles arrive, they will. You find solutions to those obstacles and overcome them.

If you don’t take ownership then what happens when an obstacle comes up?  

That’s right you get disheartened and give up.

When I found out that there were still 100 drivers that didn’t come to see us as we traveled I had 2 options.

Option 1 was to blame the managers and the people who help organize the meetings.  What do you think this would have accomplished?

NOTHING!  That’s right all this would have done was place blame. Nothing else would have happened.

Option 2 was to find a solution to the problem.  Figure out how to get the people that didn’t bother to show up into compliance.  

I chose option 2.  It wasn’t easy but it was the only real answer.  I went through the system and figured out what they needed in order to get into FULL compliance and reach out to each individual driver.

By taking ownership of the project we overcame the obstacles as they came up.

Today I want to take a few seconds to encourage everyone to take ownership of everything they do.

I don’t care if it’s scrubbing toilets, or loading a rocket with fuel. Take ownership.  

Tell yourself that it’s going to get done because you are going to make sure it does.

Now get out there and be proud of what you do!

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