[Biodata and picture of contributor will be found by clicking here]
Ownership. A word that is used a lot in business; something that is
expected of employees by their leaders and managers (they get frustrated if it
doesn't happen). Equally, employees
so often avoid taking ownership, for a variety of reasons; most commonly because
they are scared to do so, again for all sorts of reasons.
what exactly is it? How do you know
when to take it, and when not to take it? And
if you have taken it, how do you know if you've taken enough, or indeed, too
take a look at the root of the word itself ~ "own".
A typical dictionary definition would read, "…belonging or
peculiar to; individual; not belonging to another…".
So when I own something, it
belongs to me; it does not belong to another.
this to ownership in the workplace then, what belongs to you personally at work,
or is peculiar to you, and no one else?
job, your ideas, your salary package? Well,
your job and your salary package can be taken away from you through redundancy
or dismissal, so your job and its benefits package belong to your employer. And if you are employed (rather than self-employed), legally
your employer owns the intellectual property that you create through your
what do you bring to the table? Agreement
to perform a particular role to an agreed set of standards.
performance is your contribution, what you give; this is your part of the
exchange. This is demonstrated through what you do, through your
when your boss asks you to take ownership of a project, he or she is actually
asking you to own your own performance; to have 'star billing', rather than be a
How can I be a star?
you are already a star, although perhaps you don’t yet realise it!
you own your own performance, and put 100% effort into being all that you can be
during that performance, then you are experiencing being a star!
So how can you ‘own’ your performance 100%?
you have to identify your potential, your human potential.
How can you 'be all that you can be'?
course, that's not as easy as it sounds to identify.
After all, what is 'potential'?; how do you define the ideal human
recognising that perhaps the aim of life is to create the ideal human
experience, is half the battle. This
takes us out of the mindset of seeing life as a struggle, as something to
survive. It puts us in the driving
seat; we decide where we want to go.
We become the creator of our life, rather than a victim to it.
this thought-provoking exercise. Think
about where you are now. How well
do the following statements describe your life currently?
YOUR LIFE PERFORMANCE ~ Being all that you can
how true each statement is for you out of a score from
I have the simple awareness
that by the pure fact of my existence I am an entity taking up space
I know the point of my
existence, why I am here. I
want to do and experience things, I have gifts I want to use and share
with others, I want to make a contribution to the world
I have identified
specifically what I want to do, my gifts and/or the contribution I want
I accept I have a purpose,
gifts and/or a contribution. I know how much my purpose is worth to me
and that it is as important as that of anyone else
I know what my life will
look like when I am achieving my purpose
I know how I will keep
focused on my vision
I know how I will maintain
the enthusiasm and commitment to achieving my goals
I am excited by
opportunities that are presented to me.
I am open to the unknown, the unfamiliar, and the unexpected, and
I can release control of how things will happen
I, and the people around me,
are able to support each other in achieving our respective goals.
I know when I need to welcome new people into my life
I know how I can guide
others towards achieving their purpose.
I am aware of my unique qualities that I can use to inspire
I feel strong enough,
emotionally and physically, to pursue my purpose.
I continually strive to improve my wellbeing so that I can move
forward with vitality and enthusiasm
My living and working
conditions are conducive to me achieving my goals.
I don't need to make any changes
I know and accept that I am
moving towards and achieving my goals.
My life is full of abundance
is no scoring involved here except in identifying where you are, and are not,
achieving your potential.
There may be one or two areas that you feel you really need to work on,
there may be several needing a little, or may be a lot, more focus and energy.
But any area that feels incomplete shows where you may be inhibiting your
own life performance.
Reflect on your findings and maybe ask a friend or partner to do the
exercise too, and share your insights.
you have explored your potential you need to consider what is getting in your
way of achieving this.
Understanding your conditioning
you do, how you perform, is driven by what you think and feel, and what you
value and believe. Much of this is
shaped by people who have influenced us, our experiences, and our need to
a look at this structure of the human identity.
Imagine this is like an onion, layer upon layer, with Personal Awareness
at the very inner core, and our Behaviour, underpinned by values and beliefs, as
the outer skin, the part that everyone sees.
inner or higher self
intrinsic nature of the inner or higher self
attributes or characteristics of the inner or higher self
permeates (interferes) impacting:
truths of the qualities serving as foundations for beliefs
held opinions based upon principles
set for behaviours, forged by beliefs
of thinking and/or feeling (paradigm) that drive behaviours, developed from
ways of acting based on values and attitudes
propensity to operate from ‘I’ or ‘i’*
Amanda Knight and Marilyn Latcham 2001-2003
are two outcomes to this human structure depending on the level of conditioning
that we remain susceptible to – we either operate from the domain of ‘I’
or from the realm of ‘i’*. ‘I’
represents a personality driven by the need to survive; ‘i’ depicts a
spiritual existence, where there is a strong sense of self, but no ‘i’ is
greater than any other.
from 'I' means that we are delivering a conditioned performance; our personality
(from the Greek word 'persona' meaning 'mask') gives the appearance of being the
true person, but is not actually a true reflection of our Essence.
This is because our underlying values, beliefs and attitudes have been
affected by conditioning from external sources, ie. the values, beliefs and
attitudes of others (eg. parents, teachers, society as a whole, peer groups, and
friends). We then struggle to
maintain our own identity, creating ‘I’.
However, if we are able to operate from 'i', we are free of our conditioning, and are living as our unconditioned higher self. We have been able to differentiate between our own values and beliefs, and those of others, and are able to project this to the outside world through our behaviour. Our personality then reflects our higher self. We have become integrated. What we express on the outside is a true reflection of how we think, feel and believe in our deepest core. We know Who We Are. We do not need to justify our existence to anyone, nor demand the same of others.
words ‘integrate’ and 'integrity' have their roots in the same meaning,
'oneness, wholeness'. Therefore,
when we are able to integrate our Behaviour with our own core, our Essence –
when these two become one – we become whole, we act with pure integrity; we
operate from 'i'. There is no gap
between our deepest self and the persona we present to the world.
We have removed the mask.
of someone you know who you feel has and demonstrates integrity.
What does that mean to you? Usually
it means that you can trust that person. He
or she will have no sides, and will not be two-faced. People who have integrity, walk their talk, and stand by
their convictions. This is because
those who act with integrity are in touch with their deeper feelings and
motivations. They are more able to
stand up for what they value and believe in, rather than 'blow with the wind' of
popular beliefs, with the misguided view of remaining popular themselves.
your performance, your behaviour, reflects your integrity; how much you are
integrating your Behaviour with your Essence.
Taking this back to the workplace then, your performance in the workplace
also reflects your integrity, the ability to honour your own values and beliefs.
we identified before, owning your performance is to ‘be all that you can be’
in your role; this includes taking ownership of those things that are your
responsibility, ie. your own behaviours. This
does not mean that you have to take ownership of responsibilities (behaviours)
that belong to others. In fact you
cannot do this. We cannot change
other people. But we can act as a
act or perform with pure integrity takes strength and courage: the courage to
identify and stand by your own true principles; to realise and believe in your
own unique qualities; to be able to expect the world to be happy with this, or
at the very least, to accept that this is Who You Really Are.
this in the workplace is not easy; there are many influencers that will question
your values, beliefs and behaviours. You
may find that as you reaffirm your own true values and beliefs they do not
appear to sit well with the values of the organisation that employs you.
if your employer wants you to take ownership, they must understand what this
means, what they are asking of you: to ‘be all that you can be’ in your
role, which requires the integration of your higher self and your personality.
Performing in this way, you will search for the same in others; as a
result, you will seek to understand many things – particularly the decisions
and behaviours of others at all levels of the organisation.
Taking ownership means doing it your way …
I wonder if that’s what your employer really
Picture and biodata of author
Knight is a human development consultant who specialises in Emotional
Intelligence (EI) and realising potential. She is an EI practitioner, a
development trainer, and a personal coach. She works as Training Manager for
Activate who run a centre of excellence for experiential learning in the heart
of the New Forest on the south coast of England, and as an EI consultant with
the Centre for Applied Emotional Intelligence and the School for Emotional
can be contacted at email@example.com.