Early in my career I worked on the Product Development team of a large mortgage lending company. While I didn’t recognize it at the time, that team was the picture of collaboration, creativity and exceptional performance.
The nature of the work was challenging; tight deadlines, tremendous work volume, and high visibility. Not to mention that we each had our individual, (often conflicting) ideas about how the work should be done. Yet somehow, despite the demanding work and the diversity of our team members-we had a reputation for being innovative, knowledgeable and getting the job done.
In retrospect, it was almost magical how well we worked together. Let me be clear-we didn’t come to work and sing Kumbaya every day. We had challenges. There were egos and personality differences and the work was tough. Yet we were consistently successful. Why? The magic happened because in addition to be led by a skillful manager, each one of us took pride and responsibility in the accomplishments of our team. It was our team and we owned it. All of us had a vested interest. Or, as I like to call it, Team Ownership.
Ownership is at the foundation of every great team. This means is that every single person from leadership to the front lines owns the success or failure of that team. It’s an understanding that one person can’t do it all alone-it is the combination of different talents and skills that make it happen. Team ownership is about taking responsibility and doing your part.
Here are 4 quick tips to increasing your team ownership:
- Take responsibility. The leader alone can’t make the team run at full capacity. Team members can’t do it without the support of their manager either. Everyone has a part to play. What is your part? What are YOU doing to support the team?
- Ask for and be open to help. Your team members are your allies. So if you are falling behind on a project, have too much on your plate or aren’t sure how to tackle something-ask your colleagues for help. On the flip side, if you see that a team member is frustrated or behind on something, ask how you can help them out.
- When problems arise or mistakes arise, use it as a learning experience. Focus on solving the problem and not making the same mistake again. Pointing fingers is a waste of time.
- Managers- Show your team members how their individual contributions impact the team. Explain how team contributions impact the company. Recently I was at a client’s event and the CEO recognized the entire HR and Accounting team for researching and brining in a new benefits package. The new package was richer in offerings and the price structure ended up saving the company nearly $10,000/year. The team was thrilled to see how their hard work positively impacted the company’s bottom line.
Want to learn more about team ownership? Visit us at pathfinderstrategies-arizona.com or call us at (888) 529-0240.