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Own Your Job, Possess Success(4)

2005-09-12 00:00

  EVERYDAY HEROES.  When you have that characteristic, you're miles ahead of the game. I'm not talking about slavish devotion to a boss or bowing and scraping —— just the opposite. You want people who take the initiative when no one's looking over their shoulders. Any employer with a brain will kill for a person who displays this kind of commitment in a job interview.

  So how, as a job seeker, do you demonstrate that you're this kind of person? Tell stories. Talk about a time when the chips were down and you made the difference. These aren't heroic stories, except in the everyday sense that people who do the right thing are heroes. You simply explain how you saw the situation and how you made it right.

  As an employer, you have a simple set of must-dos when it comes to ownership. Reward it when you see it. Call attention to it, and make sure it's a core value that employees understand. And when you see an ownership breakdown, deal with it directly.

  BE ENGAGED.  I had the unpleasant experience once of having a subordinate, a divisional manager, tell me: "We have an employee who may file a discrimination claim with the government."

  "What? That's horrendous!" I said, coming out of my chair. "What happened? Have we talked to her? What are her concerns? Can we fix the problem?"

  "I really don't know the details," said my unfortunate team member. "I heard this from another employee."

  She really didn't know. I mean, she was busy, so she hadn't really talked to the employee or anything like that. So, you know, she was sort of, like, fired.

  Ownership is the key —— I can't say enough about it. Do you have it? Does your team? If so, you could enjoy a tremendous 2005.

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