Ownership – A mentality
Ownership is something we virtually all understand and practice and yet its explanation can be paradoxical. Ownership is typically thought of as a possession – our car, our home, our clothes and other worldly possessions. It’s thought of as something we have.
- But is it possible to have something and not take ownership of it?
- Ownership is different than the act of possessing.
- Ownership is a decision to take responsibility and it is rooted by deep caring commitment.
My passion and life purpose is conducting what many business owners feel to be the impossible – converting their business to an employee-owned enterprise – supporting employees in their transition to co-owners. The most common reaction people have when I tell them about this process is: “that makes sense – if you give someone ownership, they will care more.” And nothing could be further from the truth.
Ownership is not given – it’s taken.
Ownership begins with a deep rooted and unshakeable desire that crystalizes into a commitment and a deep sense of responsibility over time and with peril. It’s a feeling of concern and vigilant protection. Ownership is an attitude, it’s our relationship with what we do.
For most small business owners, the ownership mentality is one that grows and strengthens over time. It is a resoluteness that gets stronger every time their life investment is on shaky ground and they must walk the tight rope with the possibility of losing it all beneath their feet. The sleepless nights, the anxiety, the dire need to dig deeper. The do or die scenario where you must care more and give more. Ownership is burdensome and that’s not necessarily being negative. It’s difficult, it carries a lot of weight and comes with great obligation and duty. There is nothing glamorous about ownership and yet ultimately, it’s the most meaningful experience.
Think about the things in life you may value the most – and more often than not, ownership shares the same aforementioned attributes. The paradox is, we all inherently become owners – when we decide.
Ahad Ghadimi is an RMEOC Board Member and the Managing Partner of Core Work Capital, a specialized private equity group that invests and converts businesses into employee-owned enterprises. www.coreworkcapital.com