CEOs and executive team members have clear lines of ownership and, ultimately, a great deal of accountability for their companies and teams. However, ownership isn’t an idea reserved for management. The best employees have a strong sense of personal ownership and accountability.
Find a mentor within your company.
One of the best ways to own your role is to develop buy-in from respected members of the team. This can be done by finding a mentor within your company. Look for someone who can teach best practices on soft skills (things like meeting etiquette and office politics) in addition to key technical skills. Finding the right mentor in your office allows you to develop a strong relationship with someone who can serve as your advocate and helps you continuously develop while at the company.
Paint the bigger picture.
Map your own career trajectory by figuring where you’d like to see yourself down the road. If you have a clear idea of where you’d like to get, it’s easier to fill in the needed steps to get there. Be sure to identify the ways that your current role will position you in the future. Build proficiencies in your role that will affirm your current value and establish momentum around your next steps.
Seek learning opportunities.
If your current role is at a junior level or doesn’t involve management-level work, begin preparing yourself for next steps in your career by assessing learning “gaps.” If you don’t have management experience, for example, it will be important to find a way to learn from a more senior employee at your office or find a course that will help you address any skill gaps that could prevent you from moving up in the company.
Develop checkpoints with your manager.
By setting a consistent pace with your manager around your key goals and deliverables, both sides are kept accountable. Finding a way to incorporate your goals into a regular meeting with your manager allows you to build rapport with your superiors. In addition, you establish a professional reputation and tie your work to your professional checkpoints.
Check in with yourself regularly.
If you want to be known as a team player who is invested in the success of the company, it helps to regularly ask yourself, “What more can I do to have the biggest impact?” Asking this question should generate a clear picture of areas for improvement as well as successful tactics in your role.
Employees who exhibit a strong level of ownership always understand where their biggest return on investment lies — does measurable traction occur for the company when they devote time to digital marketing, or does the real return happen when they focus on relationship building in person? Whatever the tactic may be, it’s important to understand your wisest time investments and how to leverage them for the benefit of your team and company.
Rolling up your sleeves and building ownership in your company is a smart way to build a strong professional reputation. Employees who exhibit sincere ownership are the ones who are in for the long-term. These people are more likely to be called on for the most important business decisions and projects. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll invest in yourself by investing in your company.