At a meeting with all his division chiefs, Kilts asked for a show of hands: “How many of you think our costs are too high?” Everyone in the room immediately raised his hand. Then he asked, “How many of you think costs are too high in your department?” Not a single hand went up. According to Kilts, it’s a common response among managers of companies in trouble: Everyone knows there’s a problem, it’s just that nobody thinks it’s his problem. And that’s where Kilts comes in: He’ll make it his problem–and yours, if you plan on keeping your job.
Idea for Impact: Make the problem yours. Think and act like an owner.
One of the most underrated skills most employees lack is ownership/stewardship—taking responsibility for results, recognizing when things aren’t working, and getting problems solved.
Plus, teams mirror initiative-takers. When someone starts to take ownership, other people see that, and they’re likely to take ownership of their bits as well.