EM 166| How to Think & Act Like an Owner


In this week’s episode of Executive Minds, MNTR leaders Kevin Jennings and David Farmer sit down to have a conversation about what it means to think and act like an owner. Based on David’s time spent with fellow leader Shane Benson at Harvard Business School, David and Kevin discuss the ownership mentality. The conversation goes in-depth on changing your mindset, thinking beyond the project, having a common purpose, redefining success, sharing resources and anticipating what’s on the horizon. There are so many helpful gems in this discussion regardless of where you are in the organization. Tune in!

Links + Resources

Ego Is The Enemy - Ryan Holiday

Three Takeaways:

Having an Organizational/Enterprise Mindset & Succession

If we’re going to lead our organization at the highest level effectively, then we have to think about how all the parts work together. Sometimes, we’re working with a limited scope. We find ourselves with a tunnel vision focus on our roles and responsibilities within the needs of the department, team, or project. However, if we’re to think from an ownership perspective, then we’ve got to have an enterprise mindset that thinks about the larger needs of the organization. We’re embracing a broader perspective than what is right in front of us. From this 30k feet view, we think beyond the here and now and begin to strategize our succession. Who could take your job today? Who are you developing and grooming to take your position at a later time? Who do I hand this team or project over to when it’s time? These are some of the questions that you begin to address when thinking with an organization mindset.

Everything Belongs to the Organization

If it’s in the best interest of the organization and ultimately serves the customer, then it’s going to be best for you as well. This idea is a critical mindset shift that can change the culture. So many of us are wired around excellence and value responsibility that we can feel as though we’re not doing our best if we’re not operating in the most important role. But since everything belongs to the organization, we should see the immense value in supporting critical roles during a season. We begin to move from departmental or product champions to organizational champions. We begin to operate from a foundation of trust and not possessive ownership. This opens us up to sharing resources or loaning out expertise to other teams because we’ve fostered a culture of interdependency and trust. An ownership mentality wants to see the company succeed and will do whatever’s in his or her power necessary for that happen with or without the spotlight.

Redefine Personal Success for you and your job

With an ownership mentality, we have to redefine our sense of personal success. Success cannot mean that I’ve hit my goal individual sense. Obviously, it’s part of it but not in totality. It is imperative that we broaden our concept of personal success and marry it to the organizational needs. That’s a true win. As Ryan Holiday says, “Ego is the enemy”. As executives, we’re naturally driven and have large goals that we want to accomplish. But when we show up with a common purpose and shared objective, setting our ego aside, then that’s when the organization and our peers get our very best. And by doing so, we’ll realize that this also creates that culture of sacrifice where our peers and colleagues will do the same for us.