It seems everyone wants their team to “own the plan.” (Who wants people to “rent or lease the plan”?) It’s true: A team can differentiate itself in the results they deliver when teammates function with an ownership mentality.

What’s often missed, however, is starting by defining an ownership mentality. If a team can’t define this powerful state of thinking and actions, they likely will have difficulty modeling it.

Consider this formula:


cognitive clarity (mind) + emotional commitment (heart) = an ownership mentality.

To increase cognitive clarity and mobilize the mind, questions like these are useful:

  • How clear are we about what it means to successfully execute our plans?
  • What information flow is required to increase clarity? (Hint: Telling people what they should think doesn’t work very well.)

To increase emotional commitment and mobilize the heart, questions such as these are valuable:

  • What does it look like to execute our plans with an emotional commitment?
  • Why is succeeding in delivering our plans personally important to each of us?
  • What’s the reward for going “all in” as we execute our plans? (And, what’s the risk if we don’t give our best effort?)

Too many leaders think that people should show up for work and automatically demonstrate an ownership mentality. Collaborative leaders model an accountability and architect the focus and thinking required for people to possess the clarity and commitment required to succeed – together.

What formula are you using?

Activate Your Greatness.

Activate Your Greatness.

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