What makes some people care more about their work than others? This is a question leaders have probably been asking since the beginning of time. I believe the answer is multi-faceted – some factors may even be unknowable. However, one element guaranteed to increase a person’s “want to” is ownership. And, the more people have a sense of shared ownership, the more remarkable the results.

While doing the research that would lead to the book, Chess Not Checkers, we discovered Shared Ownership as one of the best practices present in High Performance Organizations. Randy Gravitt and I wrote about this in the Chess Not Checkers Field Guide. The following is an excerpt from the guide.

The darkness mocks a single candle but a thousand hasten the dawn.

This truth is a great reminder for those who aspire to high performance: We are at our brightest and best when we work together.tweet_bird

High Performance Organizations produce great results, because they are able to create shared ownership. They acknowledge individual strengths and talents, give people responsibility for meaningful work, and encourage continual improvement.

Shared ownership accelerates when a person is unleashed to work in their sweet spot. The temptation for a leader who has capacity issues is to look for a warm body and delegate work. Great leaders resist this urge and seek to align before they assign. They do this by identifying the competencies and passions of their people in order to connect them to the right role. The result is increased buy-in and effectiveness.

Engagement is also enhanced by trust. Top leaders show confidence in the people they supervise by giving them opportunities to make a real difference. This causes team members to bring their best and is often an antidote for apathy.

Finally, people often rise to the occasion when they know they have teammates who are counting on them. Most can live with the personal consequences of a mistake, but no one wants to let down a teammate.

Does your organization have a culture of shared ownership? If not, you are leaving results on the table. Now is the time to increase capacity and expand your influence. Your team can go farther faster if you will make the choice to align before you assign, trust the talent of your team, and continually call people to work better together.[GLS_Shield]

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Author: Mark Miller

Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.