An Ownership Attitude is the next big step after character. First is getting people you trust on the team. That is the character portion. Next is empowering these people and checking and coaching.
Any time you sense a good ownership attitude in the right people, talk about it. That is what you want, so talk about it. Encourage it and make it grow. If a leader says in front of the team that Frank corrected him today and then applauds Franks for his behavior in front of everyone, then you can gain traction.
An Ownership Attitude to Encourage
I was managing a factory in south China many years ago, and it warmed my heart after a couple weeks to see some senior people catching the ball. What I mean is that they started fighting with me for the good of the company. I have one who even respectfully told me off. That is great. Because to build a company, we needed a lot of ownership.
Let me tell you what happened in one case. I had a seasoned engineer out with me, and she was not a leader of anything on the org chart. She talked to the supplier about how clean their parts were. I jumped in out of turn and told him clean is good, and she firmly pushed me back. She knew they fussed over appearances when what we need is to be within dimensional tolerances. I was hurt by getting pushed, but that is what we needed. And I do not mean tolerances. We need ownership, and we need right headed ownership.
Most workers are afraid to cross their leader, and then ownership attitude cannot develop. The leader must be able to be appropriately vulnerable and then it can slowly emerge under them. Finally real positive conflict can occur and ownership attitude can grow with that.
What do you think?