“They seem to want to blame anyone or anything when things go wrong.  As the owner, I have to own all of my choices.  Why can’t they?”

“Am I the only one who cares about the success of the whole organization?  It seems everyone else only cares about their part.  How do I get them to care about the whole like I do?”

 Sound familiar? At the end of the day, do you feel like the complete success or failure of the organization rests only on your shoulders?

Almost every CEO I know eventually asks, how do I get my people to act like an owner?  To commit to making contributions that are in the best interest of the whole organization, and take full responsibility for their choices and outcomes?

My answer is always, “tell me how you lead your organization.”

The typical conversation goes something like this.

“I make sure the roles and responsibilities are clear.  I establish a clear vision, so everyone knows where we are going and why.  Then I am careful to establish clear goals so the everyone knows what they need to do to ensure we get there.  After all my people are the most important part of our organization and I want them to be successful.”

“And when there are difficult situations that comes up or a conflict between two of your departments, how does that got resolved?”

“Well, that is what I am here for to help remove obstacles and sort things out.”

“Can you begin to see why your people are not acting like owners as you would like them to? If you treat them like young children, they will respond like one. And unconsciously that is what you are doing.”

To be fair, this is not totally the leader’s fault.  It is the way the game of business is set up. The expectation of a leader is to do exactly what this leader described, which ingrains in people to respond exactly like they do. 

Let me be clear, as a leader it is your responsibility to ensure the organization creates the results required for success.  This will never change. And this responsibility naturally leads you to feel the pressure to make sure others do what is required.

The problem with this is that you cannot make anyone do anything, unless you hold something over them, like the future of their careers. Which only compounds the problem and deepens their dependence on you.
What if there was another way.  What if we changed the rules of the game and set up a different relationship. 

Imagine the leader interacting with their team as if they were each “CEO” of their own company “contracting” with them about the contribution “their company” will make to the success of the organization. 

Imagine, this group of “companies” understood they were part of an ecosystem, no longer independent entities, and each one depended on the other and they knew their contribution mattered only if the whole organization was successful.

This will shift the focus from making people get the results to having them to want to achieve them.  Making their contribution something they choose.  Since they choose it, they will be committed to it and naturally drive to be successful. 

Instead of using your people to get the results, you use the journey of getting results to develop, grow, and mature your people. Encouraging them to resolve the challenges and conflicts themselves will develop their level of maturity and the sense of being the “CEO” of their lives. Coaching and guiding them to self-reflect and self-improve.

This is the foundation of The Living Organization® TLO Contribution Agreement™.  We develop the concept of “MyBiz Inc.” where everyone is the CEO of their own business, operating within an ecosystem of relationships.  As CEO of their own “company”,  they establish their contribution to the success of the larger group they are part of (individual to team, team to department, department to the organization).

It shifts the role of leader from overseer to a coach helping each “CEO” become successful in running “their business,” freeing the leader to focus on more strategic concerns knowing the ship is in good hands.

Contact us for an informal conversation how we can help your organization move forward.