The older Dad got, the more obsessed he became with his yard. He’d say things like, “Boy, that yard has grown so much in the last two days. I have to mow it again.”
In truth, the grass hadn’t really grown that much. For him, the issue wasn’t really the grass. He wanted his yard to look the best in the neighborhood.
Dad could often be found washing his bass boat. Sometimes, he would even wax it. He’d say, “That river water puts grime and muck all over it. I have to keep her looking good.”
When we’d roll down to the boat launch for a day of fishing, someone could almost always be heard saying, “Mr. Jack, your boat looks good!” For Dad, that was the payoff.
He may not have had the best boat in the river, but he did want to have the best looking one. He called this “taking pride in what you do.”
Dad believed that his yard and bass boat were reflections of him. He took pride in those things. He may not have owned the neighborhood or the river, but he understood the value of taking ownership of the things he could control.
Leaders take ownership. When we take ownership–be it a project or some other thing–a true measure of our care is revealed.
For example: you may not own the radio station or business where you work, but as a leader, it is imperative that you treat it as if you do.
True leaders can be found taking out the trash, washing vehicles, setting up protocols to protect business transactions, and an assortment of other tasks critical to any business’s success.
A key component of effective leadership is actively taking ownership. This means treating the organization as if it’s all on you, even when it isn’t. With that in mind, you should be wary of anyone within your organization who says, “It isn’t my business,” or “That isn’t my job.”
The organization you serve is a reflection of you. Show that you take pride in it by taking a level of ownership that others will clearly recognize.
Take ownership. Get your hands dirty–even when it means doing the menial things.
Be like Dad…have some pride.
You’ll be a better leader because of it.