“The last IT guy had a diagram of the network, but since he left, I haven’t updated it to reflect the changes we’ve made.”
“The system was setup before I got here. It’s not a good fit, but I’ve just been making do since I took it over.”
“This process ran pretty smoothly last year. I don’t think the new guy has a clue about how it should work this year. This has failure written all over it.”
“I’ve seen it all in my time. They’ve tried a bunch of new ideas to make things more efficient, but they never work. I try to tell them they’re wasting their time, but nobody listens to me.”
“I wonder when the VP is going to notice how screwed-up this project is. Everyone knows it’s a disaster, but him.”
“The more things change, the more they stay the same around here.”
How many times have you heard (or said) versions of these quotes?
It’s easy to point to problems with “the system.” It’s easy to blame the other guy, the other department, your boss, your employee, the customer(!).
Avoiding ownership is the easy way out. It’s also the quickest way to ensure mediocrity and failure for yourself and your organization.
Imagine the possibilities if just one person in these hypothetical situations chose to elevate their thinking. Imagine if they decided to own the search for the right solution. What if they actively participated in making someone else’s solution a success? Imagine the value of the person who looks for ways to help, instead of looking for ways to criticize.
There’s nothing stopping you from being that person…except maybe yourself.
By the way, have you read my book? 100’s have already (thank you!). If you’re one of them, please do me a favor and tell your friends about it. If not, it’s time to take ownership, and get yourself a copy!