High school starts in Willow Glen at 9 AM on Monday mornings. My son has never been late for school, but this Monday morning was an exception. At 8:30, I called out a reminder to my son “Don’t you think we should get going?” He assured me we had plenty of time, and there was no need to leave before 8:45 AM. I shrugged my shoulders and assumed he knew what he was talking about.
At 8:55 AM, with both middle school and high school traffic inching along, I knew he had made a mistake. The consequences are steep when you are late for high school. All classroom doors close at exactly 9 AM, and all late students are politely ushered to the cafeteria for a holding period of 25 minutes. My son was NOT happy. Although his initial reaction was to blame this mishap on “dumb” school rules, I reminded him of the importance of taking ownership of his mistake.
If there is one thing I have learned about success, it’s the importance of taking ownership and stepping into our personal power. The faster you can embrace the eight areas below for what they are, the easier it will be to use these valuable elements to your advantage.
Own your mistakes
There isn’t a human being on Earth that doesn’t make mistakes, and most of us fairly frequently. We might make an error in paperwork, miss a deadline, or step on someone’s feelings with our words. Own it and apologize. Skip the blame game because it does nothing to solve problems. A confident person learns to say “My bad. Let me fix it and learn from this mistake.”
Own your successes
How often do you gloss over your accomplishments as if they are something small or unworthy of recognition? If you’re going to beat yourself up for your mistakes, wouldn’t it be fair to spend even more time patting yourself on the back for a job well done? Success breeds positive energy, and this energy propels you towards even greater success. Take time out to celebrate all the good things you are doing every day.
Own your weaknesses
One of my weaknesses is my problem-solving ability. Although I would love to be good at everything, I am simply not wired to excel in all areas. When I encounter problems, I tend to get flustered and wish the problem would go away. I want things to run smoothly. This stress can interfere with my ability to “see” solutions to problems. It’s not that I can’t solve a problem; it’s just that my first instinct is to throw my hands up. There are others, my spouse included, that are not only good at, but love to solve problems. Own your weaknesses and compensate for them by partnering with others that can help you.
Own your strengths
Have you ever taken the CliftonStrengths assessment? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. It’s enlightening and you will learn a lot about yourself, including a list of all your strengths and what they are good for. So often people are working hard to overcome their weaknesses, instead of using their strengths to their advantage. Your strengths are a natural part of who you are, so it’s a lot easier to spend energy in this area than to try and fight against the grain and work on your weaknesses.
Own constructive criticism
How do you respond (or react), internally and externally, to constructive criticism? Some people take it in stride and use what they want. Others immediately get defensive and protect themselves from the criticism. But what if you could just breathe, listen and open your heart and mind to what you are hearing? Is there some validity to what is being said? Or can you learn something about what the other person needs from you? Constructive criticism, as long as the delivery is kind, can be useful.
Own the wisdom of others
You’ve heard the saying “Talk to a teenager. They know everything.” Teenagers aren’t the only group of people having a hard time owning the wisdom of others. Even some adults have a hard time learning from other people. My spouse always uses this analogy. There are people who will listen to you when you tell them the refrigerator is cold. Others have to get inside the refrigerator and figure it out for themselves. It’s okay and even good to be independent thinkers, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t wisdom to be gained from people who have been there and done that.
Own your vision
Do you have a vision for your business and your life? Is it written down? The first step to achieving the success you desire is to articulate your vision with as much detail as possible. The second step is to put it on paper, or in the form of a vision board. And the last step is to OWN your vision. Believe it, live it, breathe it. Remove the internal and external obstacles to your vision. Remind yourself every day where you are going, and correct yourself when you get off track.
Own your business
Lastly, own your business. What does that mean? Of course, you own your business. It belongs to you. You started your business. But are you taking ownership of every area of your business? Even the parts you want to avoid or aren’t working so well. Are you taking time to work “on” your business, or do you spend hours every day working “in” your business? Your business needs your leadership, and without ownership, you can’t have leadership.
So, step up and be the leader and visionary of your business and your life. Practice ownership and turn a bumpy road into a smooth, paved highway to success.
Take the “Ownership” Road to Success
November 28, 2017