Hey guys, it’s Alex, your marketing coach. And today, I am talking about extreme ownership. Extreme ownership of where you are now, of the mistakes that you’ve made, of the problems in your business, and the shortcomings that you’re recognizing in your life. Let’s dive in and talk about it and get real with each other.
So when I talk to my coaching clients, one of the things that I listen for are excuses and blame because when there’s excuses that come up or blame that comes up, what’s really happening is there’s a shift of the responsibility of the issues and the things that are holding them back. When I hear people say things like, “I could do it. My parents didn’t teach me this stuff.” Or. “Things were going great, but my employees screwed it up.” Or things that have that sort of tone to it, I’m able to identify pretty quick and go, “Hold on a second. Are you shifting blame for it?” If it’s a mindset thing, none of us came out of the womb with the right mindset for wealth and growth. We have to train our minds there. If you’re talking about your team, who is responsible for your team shortcomings, it’s you. You are responsible for your team’s shortcomings. So you have to take extreme ownership of everything or else nothing will change. The second that you blame someone else, you are now giving them responsibility and power over the situation.
So let’s talk about a couple steps on how to take extreme ownership. Number one, admit and own all the mistakes. Develop a plan to overcome them and blame no one else. And it starts there. Everything that is happening, all the mistakes that are coming up, whether it’s you or a teammate, you need to own those mistakes and then develop a plan to overcome them. Whether that’s finding a new team member, whether that’s trying to automate something, whatever that looks like, you need to own it. As long as you don’t own it, as long as you keep shifting blame, then you are putting the power for that area of your life or your business in the hand of somebody else.
Number two, as a leader, you must demonstrate extreme ownership throughout the chain of command down. There are no bad teams. There’s only bad leaders. There are no bad employees. There’s only bad managers. There are no bad clients. There are only the clients that you allow in your business. Could a client be bad? Yeah, fire them, move on. You should not have any bad clients in your business. You should change the relationship. You should remove the people that are abusing you or using you or taking advantage of you. There are no bad teams. Every single person on your team should be going for the same goal of meeting all of the different milestones that you’ve set in front of you.
If there’s somebody on your team that is underperforming, fire them. Own the mistake. Let your team know that you let the other members of the team down and make a change. If you do not do that, you are telling all the other team members that this behavior or these results are now the acceptable measure for everybody else moving forward. If you do not take ownership and make a change, nothing will change for you.
Now I’m going into point number three now. As a leader, you must explain not just what to do, but why. And let me explain what I mean by that. There are a lot of things that we know as the technician or the person running the show, we know these things must get done.
For example, within the marketing world that I run in, I know that we need to do things like check on the ads on a regular basis, make sure there’s no bad comments, et cetera. And the reason is, is because if there’s negative feedback or an ad has been disapproved, it could derail the campaign for my client. If I tell the people on my team, “I need you to go in and look at every single comment that’s left every single day. I need you to go in and make sure all of the ads are running. None of them have been flagged for any reason.” If I just tell them what to do and they don’t know why, then they’ll do it, but they’re not really going to understand whether or not their work is making a difference. When they know why they’re doing it, then they’re able to, not only complete the task, but also come up with more solutions with you and for you.
So explaining why you do certain things is really important for your team to take ownership of the task that you have given them. Because it shouldn’t just be you taking ownership of everything. They should take ownership as well. But if you don’t tell them why they’re doing it, there’s nothing for them to take ownership of.
All right, so let’s keep going down the list here of my notes. So extreme ownership requires you to control your own ego. Control your own ego. Ego is the enemy when it comes to extreme ownership, when it comes to building a team that supports you, when it comes to working with clients longterm. Ego is the enemy because what ego tells you is, “I’m right and they’re wrong,” and that’s not always the case. And so if you let your ego get in the way of feedback, then you will not accept that feedback. And if you don’t accept the feedback that you’re getting from your team, your clients, et cetera, then you will not change. And if you don’t change, then everything stays the same. So ego could be the thing that’s holding you back from your next level of growth.
Number five, prioritize and execute. When you take extreme ownership, you must prioritize and execute things in the order that your business or your life requires them. Before I start talking about business, let’s get real for a minute. A lot of entrepreneurs prioritize business as a whole over their life. That has severe negative consequences, not only for the entrepreneur and the business, because the entrepreneur gets an unhealthy obsession or an unhealthy relationship with the business. When that happens, things start falling apart. If you do not have a solid foundation at home, if you do not have a place where you can go and find your peace, then really everything you’re doing in business, number one, it doesn’t really matter that much. But number two, and most importantly, you have a really hard time disconnecting and going back into your family life.
I don’t believe in a work life balance in the sense that I don’t believe that I have to give 50% of my time to work and 50% of my time to home or whatever the percentages look like to you. But I do believe there has to be a solid foundation at home for you to build a business on. When you do not prioritize your family life, everything else struggles.
So let’s go into business about prioritizing and executing. It can get so easy for us to simply put out fires all the time. However, when we take ownership of where we want the business to go, then we have to prioritize the things that are going to get us there. And when we do that, it’s all about execution. We need to execute our operations, the things that we have planned out. When it comes to our team, we need to let them know, very clearly, what we expect of them as far as priorities and being able to execute the specific tasks.
This leads us into my second to last point, building trust with your team. There are no solopreneurs, by the way, that are building an empire. An empire requires a team. You need to work with people. So if you had a hard time working with people, take ownership of that. Like, “You know what, I don’t manage people well. I don’t work with people well. I need to change.” It’s not other people. If you have had a problem with, let’s say, five different people that you’ve worked with, and all five of them are giving you the same issue, that is a mirror. You are the issue, so you need to address what it is that is causing people to either underperform, under communicate, or simply stop showing up, and take ownership of that. Is it that you do not clearly define what the task is and why it’s important? Are they not showing up to with their maximum effort because they feel like this entire game is just putting money in your pocket and not growing something big? Is there no purpose behind the business? Identify what that is and work on fixing it.
Building trust takes more than just people understanding the vision. It also means that you invest in your people on some level. For me, I choose to invest in my people with fun gifts like Starbucks on a regular basis, buying them lunch, setting up retirement plans for my team, giving them raises on a regular basis, letting them know that I care about them as people, giving them time off for their birthdays. It’s things like that that make them know… I’m using action to demonstrate I care about you as a human being. Let’s build something fun together, and with that comes loyalty, and them showing up at a high level during work hours.
And then last, but not least, when it comes to extreme ownership, you have to discipline yourself. Discipline starts every single day. There is no excuses for your own shortcomings that happen on a regular basis. For example, if you are not waking up on time, that is not because your friends kept you out late last night. That’s because you did not have self-control to say you needed to get home so you could wake up on time and show up with high energy and high focus the next day.
If you are not treating your body well. If you are not eating well and you’re sluggish, that is not because you do not have time to cook good food. It’s because you are not making time to make good food choices. I could go down and down the list. This isn’t to shame you. This is just a point out things where you are giving responsibility and power to somebody else instead of you disciplining yourself.
I am here for you. I want to encourage you. I want to see you soar to new heights. I am excited for you and I hope that this podcast encouraged you, motivated you, and convicted you. If you’re listening to this going, “Man, I need Alex to kind of get on my butt a little bit and really help me take the next step in my own business,” please join my VIP group coaching at alexbranning.com/VIP where I work with you every single week on becoming a better version of you.
Have a great day you guys.
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