It’s that time of year again, kids are returning to school after the break and parents and non-parents are getting back into the swing of things after the holiday season. It’s often a time when organisations and leaders are having conversations and away days about the strategy for the next year and start to think about the annual appraisals that set the objectives for the year ahead. 

We also might be reflecting on what goals and objectives we set at the beginning of the year, and what we have to achieve in the final quarter to hit KPIs and objectives. 

One of the challenges leaders face today is staying committed to the goals and actions we have set and taking ownership of our commitments.

“Accept responsibility for your actions; be accountable for your results; take ownership of your mistakes”

It’s a topic we discuss a lot in our leadership change initiatives, taking ownership as a leader is one of the key qualities for leading a high-performing team.

Creating a workplace where colleagues take ownership and are empowered, entrusted and deliver to expectations requires each and every one of us to be responsible and accountable for our own success. Accountable people are always striving to improve skills, behaviours and the quality of work and tend to avoid blaming other people, external factors or circumstances for failure.  Individuals who have this ‘growth mindset’ believe that effort is key and mistakes made en route to success are seen as opportunities to grow.


 Taking ownership tells others — “You can trust me to do the right

thing”. Being accountable tells others “You can trust me to do what

 I say I’m going to do”.


Demonstrating a resilient and can-do attitude to our work allows us to overcome obstacles and hurdles, seeking out new ways of doing things for our customers that drive customer satisfaction. When we take ownership, we honour the commitment we have made to our colleagues and customers, creating a workplace that is empowered, entrusted and delivers to expectations.

Taking ownership is also about taking initiative. We take ownership when we believe that taking action is not someone else’s responsibility. You, as an individual, are accountable for the quality and timeliness of an outcome, even when you’re working with others. A sense of ownership is one of the most powerful weapons a team or an organisation can have.

Key traits of Ownership

  • Meet deadlines
  • Resilient
  • Can-do attitude
  • Open to feedback
  • Take responsibility
  • Honour commitments

Taking ownership is everyone’s responsibility and leaders that have an ownership mindset are able to take ownership of an initiative and develop it, demonstrating that they are accountable for our commitments to colleagues, customers and the business.

How to spot someone with an ownership mindset…

  • They appreciate other people’s initiatives and work ethics
  • They take the initiative to bring about positive results
  • They see personal and professional problems as issues they can solve
  • They respect other people and listen to their point of view
  • They are accountable for the results of their actions
  • They stay focused and improve their productivity
  • They follow through with what they start
  • They take responsibility for their mistakes
  • They look for opportunities to develop themselves
  • They focus on solutions
  • They take pride in what they do
  • They meet deadlines and respect timeframes

If you want to talk to us about how to create a culture of ownership with your teams, please get in touch.

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