“Accountability breeds response-ability.” ~ Stephen Covey
Last week, in discussing “owning up,” I presented four causes that lead to a fear of ownership (or following the mindset of the masses) – Fear of Failure, Desire to “Fit In”, Feelings of Entitlement and Mindset of Excuses. To continue along the same thinking, people that embrace “owning it”, exhibit some drivers behind embracing ownership (or having a mindset of abundance):
- Striving for Success – This can be the simple desire to succeed. There is the old mantra, “if it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” There are times in our lives where we are happy to sit back and watch someone else take ownership and ride their coattails to success. There is no better satisfaction, however, in taking the reins and guiding the path to success. When we were young and playing, we all stumbled, picked ourselves up; wipe the dirt from our trousers, and continued playing. The same should hold as adults whether at work, volunteering, or in our homes. While it is important to enjoy the journey, it does feel great to get there!
- Need for Individualism – To take ownership / responsibility, one has to be willing to stand out front of the crowd on your own. I like being me and am comfortable in being a little different. My parents used to tell the story of visiting my brothers and me at camp. On visiting day, we had to wear specific camp colors (whites? Or white tops, green bottoms?). All of the kids had on white socks. My parents knew how to find me – I was the only one wearing colored socks. Embracing individualism is the willingness to stand out on one’s own, and take on the ownership needed.
- Taking Responsibility – We all know people that have trouble taking responsibility for themselves, let alone other people. When Debbie and I first started to live together, there was some responsibility for each other. Upon becoming a parent, responsibility reached a completely new level. Part of this is caring for others, their well-being and not fearing making a decision on their behalf.
- Willingness for Continued Learning – While there is a desire to succeed; failing is an important part of the process. The lessons learned from our failed effort help us continue to strive towards our successes. John C. Maxwell wrote a book on the topic (“Failing Forward”). As Thomas Edison put it, when asked about his 10,000 failed attempts are creating the light bulb, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”