Taking Ownership: A Leader’s Best quality

4 minute read, posted on 12/02/2021, by VXI Marketing


Being an exceptional leader means having countless good qualities, but no leadership attribute is as outstanding and malleable to one’s values as ownership. Nowadays, taking ownership means more than being responsible and accountable. Ownership means being resolute, solving problems, withdrawing from liability, and owning the consequences of actions. Ownership can be the cornerstone of one’s sense of leadership. It is a strong sense of responsibility, unafraid to be accountable and brave enough to say, “I take ownership of this.”

Dr. Paul Stolz, the creator of the Adversity Quotient which is a score that measures the ability of a person to deal with adversities in their life, says that ownership is the extent to which a person tends to step up and take initiative. Peter Senge, the author of the Fifth Discipline, says that it is the willingness to take initiative with a deep sense of responsibility. The Institute of Leadership and Management, meanwhile, defines ownership as being accountable even when working with others.

Questions to Ask

As discussed in a previous article, adversity and difficulties are a natural part of an organization, and people in leadership positions are often thrust into situations that help define their role as leaders. According to VXI’s Chief Operating Officer, Jared Morrison, leaders are often faced with character-defining questions in moment-of-truth situations that can make or break their reputation as a leader of a call center outsourcing enterprise or any organization. Will a great leader give in to temptation or save and invest? Will she blame others, or will she seek to understand first? In the face of a difficult decision, will she react immediately, or will she reflect first before taking action? Will she dwell on the issue or will she explore solutions? Will a great leader continue with the current ways or will new ways be explored to address problems?

An owning leader does not give in to temptation easily, no matter how enticing the offer is. In some choices, the right choice seems to be the harder one to make, but a true leader knows the consequences, accepts them, and makes the choice for the good of all. A leader knows how to delegate, but at the same time does not seek to blame others when matters go sideways. A leader understands the situation, makes plans based on data, and makes a choice. He/she reflects on incidences before taking action and explores solutions instead of dwelling on the problem. The leader continually explores new ways to address problems instead of doing the same thing over and over expecting different results every time. A great leader does not leave things to chance—he/she gathers data, seeks ideas from call center representatives, plans, and anticipates.

A leader that takes ownership can protect what matters the most. Taking ownership and choosing authentic, agile, and audacious actions allows a leader to have peace of mind and a healthy lifestyle. It allows one to raise the members of her family to be responsible citizens and builds high-trust relationships at work. It allows the leader and his organization to perform extraordinarily and allows him to see others achieve their full potential. An owning leader CREATES other owning leaders for a better future for the community.

Why it matters

A leader that takes ownership matters because taking responsibility gives the power to transform your life. When you blame others, you give that power away to others who will take it from you. According to 7 Habits author Steven Covey, we are given the power to choose which actions to take. The downside of free will, however, is that we do not have the power to choose the consequences of our actions. We can predict and plan, but we can never delay the eventual outcome of our choices.

Lastly, taking ownership is important because it builds trust, support, and bonds with people you care about. A team cannot thrive without a culture of accountability because it’s what keeps everyone working together toward a collective, defined organizational mission.

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