When you develop an ear for ownership, it reveals a lot.
- Yeah, but . . . .
- They must be thinking . . .
- If you didn’t . . . .
- I couldn’t because . . .
- They are . . .
- How could they . . .
It is not that others don’t get in our way, it is that we quickly dismiss movement for ourselves because of something they did.
When I started my business, a dear friend told me to read Do The Work by Steven Pressfield and The Dip by Seth Godin. Both have become constant reminders and equippers for me when I need to manage through these moments. When you are engaged in meaningful work with great people, it is surprising how often it happens.
The biggest barrier for big companies to act like small companies is ownership. Blaming accounting or the person who is going through a divorce and off their game or blaming others because they don’t get your ‘situation’ is the easy way out. Jumping in to do something is actually harder, because it involves more work for you and maybe a good argument about priorities and ownership. In the end, the work has to get done. We need more people willing to go into these moments with a good heart, and a relentless resolve to do the work that matters.
The biggest reason people get stuck OUT of work is ownership. Not that companies don’t do bad things to people in how they handle separations – they do. We just don’t process it and move through those endings well. When we don’t we suffer, and we blame them. Sure it is not fair, and it is also not necessary.
Listen to your words today. Which side of the conversation are you on?
A few days ago my 8-year-old daughter shared an observation. She said “Daddy, when you come on field trips my teacher always gives you the new kids for our group. You like to meet new people.” Her comments made me step back because she sees that about me as does her teacher, who I have known for nine years. I thought about what she saw, and she was right. It pains me to see someone standing away from a group of people looking alone and lost. I like to find those people, connect with them, and get them connected. In my professional life, nothing irritates me more than seeing a poor onboarding program at a company or no resources put towards helping new leaders or teams be successful.
Moments like this happen every day, but too often we let them pass by. As our jobs and leaders change more frequently, understanding who we are and what we need to be successful and happy is important. In fact, it is more than just important, it is critical.
So here are the five sets of questions that make up Self-Awareness 101. Being able to answer these will help you build a base of knowledge to use when being approached for a tough project or a new job assignment.
- What do I do extremely well? What are my talents?
- What am I passionate about? What gets me excited?
- What do I need from my job? What rewards mean the most to me?
- What are the realities in my life right now?
- What demotivates me?
In his book Mastery, George Leonard teaches us that mastery is a journey, not a destination. Mastery of ourselves (ie. Self-Awareness) starts with commiting to understand ourselves and seek answers to these five questions, even if the answers come from an eight year old. Enjoy the journey.