Ownership and self-directed execution

“What should we do?”

The closed intersection (dump truck vs. car crash) turned the parking lot of the adjacent shopping center into an actual parking lot. It was gridlocked.

Sitting at Starbucks trying to wait it out I overheard the staff talking. Scheming. “What if we hand out some stuff?” A couple nods and a tray of treats and drinks was made up.

What made this remarkable to me is that I didn’t hear anybody direct them to do that. No store manager needed to cajole them into action. Nobody had to call corporate to get the green light. No SOP forced their hand.

Seemingly, they just came up with an idea and executed.

I love that so much! Why?

It shows ownership. Critical thinking. Empathy. Helpfulness. If this store was under my care I would be high-fiving and reinforcing the good effort.

Move your people toward ownership and self-directed execution. It’s hard to do but well worth the effort.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on October 22, 2019

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