I love this doodle from Geno. Passionate companies are made up of people who take ownership.
Long ago, before I became a business owner I remember a client asking me, â€œDo you own a part of the company?â€ I still remember that exact moment to this day. I was eating lunch and almost dropped my fork.
Because I almost said YES.
Even though I technically didnâ€™t own the company, I felt a strong sense of ownership.
I often tell bright young college students to work as if they own the company when they land their first job.
So today, as so many of you out there are beginning to look for your first jobs, Iâ€™m going to take a few minutes and list a few ways to help you work as if you own the company. Even if you’ve been out in the work world a while you might find a new way to look at your current â€œjobâ€.
1. Understand how the moneyâ€™s made. Ask questions. Make friends with the CFO. Learn to read a balance sheet. No matter how wonderful the mission of the company, you canâ€™t do anything positive in the world if you donâ€™t exist. You should care enough to understand how your company makes money. Besides you might find out that you want to open your own business one day, and you’ll be glad you asked.
2. Have empathy. When decisions are made that you donâ€™t understand, try and have empathy. When my daughter had her first job she came home complaining about how the owner got so upset over the least little thing. We talked about it and I said, “I bet she took a lot of risks to open that business. What can you do to help her make her dream work out? How can you help her feel good about her decision to quit her safe job at the bank and start this new retail business? How can you help her get more customers?” Even at 16 years old, empathy was a big motivator and in a short time she had got a small but really valuable raise. Even if you work for a big organization, having empathy for how and why decisions get made can change the way you work.
3. Be someoneâ€™s best friend at work. People work better when they have a best friend at work. If you’re working as if you own the place, you want others to feel they have a best friend at friend at work. So be that best friend.Do what best friends do. Listen harder. Be kinder. Recognize effort. Take a break and laugh together.
4. Write love letters. Be grateful to the people you work for and with. Business leaders (good ones at least) are grateful. They are grateful for every single customer and employee. You can and should be grateful too.
So how do do you work when you find yourself working as if you own the place? What advice do you have to share with others today? Have you ever done business with a company where everyone you met seemed to own the company?