Successful entrepreneurs and their team members take responsibility for their own performance and the performance of others upon whom they depend. In other words, they get the job done. In fact, they take the success of their company, department, and job – well personal.
One of the most common questions we get wherever we keynote is, “What kept you going when times got tough?” We usually answer with the unending support of our customers, our unbeatable staff, and one more thing – we “owned it” literally and figuratively.
Sure, we owned the enterprise insofar as we paid the bills, owed the bank, and ran the company. But beyond that, we also “owned” the responsibility for the success of the business. No excuses! We couldn’t blame others for our mistakes, circumstances, or inability to deliver. It was always ultimately our responsibility, no matter what happened. In other words, we owned it. That realization also kept us going. It gave use the tenacity to keep trying different ways to make it better until it became a roaring success.
We were fortunate to have attracted a team of like-minded coworkers. It took us years to learn how to hire, orient and train effectively, but we finally got it right. We have even written about what we learned in our book The Barefoot Spirit. When we finally hired the right people they all had one quality in common. They owned their jobs!
We as owners did not have to worry about whether they knew their job, their mission, or their skill set. We did not hear excuses blaming others for poor performance. They took control over their jobs and progress, looked for ways around road blocks, sought help, listened to advice, stayed on top of the latest technologies, improved their checklists, and never blamed others for unsuccessful outcomes.
They took full responsibility. And why? Because they saw adversity, learning curves, and being outside their comfort zones as a personal challenge they took great pride in overcoming. It was like beating your personal best.
A big part of your success is feeling empowered to overcome obstacles and taking personal responsibility for getting your job done. Here’s six tips that you can use to overcome obstacles:
1. Start and Improve Checklists. Any time a mistake is made, the procedure to avoid it in the future goes on your checklist to prevent a reoccurrence.
2. Cleanup Your Own Backyard. Do all you can with the help of your colleagues and counterparts to solve any operational, communication, or procedural problems on your end so progress is more likely to be made.
3. Ask, “What Did I Do Wrong?” Even when it was “their fault,” ask yourself, “What can I do better next time?”
4. Anticipate Misunderstandings. Proactively look for ways you could be misunderstood, your packages mis-delivered, your outsourced work done wrong, or a deadline missed. Improve your policies, notices, reports, and communications to better achieve your milestones and goals.
5. Use Calendars. Anticipate not only the approach of important dates, periods, holidays, and seasons, but also the leads times, deadlines, and current progress of the folks on whom you depend.
6. Notify Customers and Superiors of Your Progress. Don’t make others have to ask if you completed your project or not. Give them the sense of security that only comes from your timely, accurate and regular progress reports.
You want your business to be successful, your department to meet its goals, and your boss to find you indispensable, right? So take responsibility for your own job, your own progress, and your own difficulties.
If you want to become indispensable, JUST OWN IT!
Who We Are
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.
Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.
They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.
Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.
To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.