Great leaders choose to be owners.
My rock climbing ropes are treated with a tremendous amount of care and attention. Before heading out on a climbing trip I run my hands over every inch of the nylon ropes. I check them for burrs, kinks and dirt. Each rope is meticulously coiled and placed in its corresponding bag. During the climbing trips, while belaying a partner or climbing myself I watch how the ropes are laid on the protective tarp that prevents dirt from getting on them. I cringe when a rope drags violently across a sharp edge of the cliff and I nearly freak out if anyone steps on a strand of rope on the ground. Following each trip I carefully recoil and put each rope away.
When I am climbing at a gym, I am no where near as fastidious. I hope on a rope, and climb to the top of the route without checking, cleaning and coiling the rope. Once done I move on with out fan fare or attention to the quality cleanliness of gyms rope.
Ownership makes all the difference!
When you are an owner, you take an entirely different approach! This is not only true for the material objects we own, but also for the intangible aspects of life. In particular, ownership in the area of leadership makes all the difference. There is no leadership devoid of authentic ownership.
Leading anything of significance requires us to embrace that we no longer are bystanders or mere beneficiaries. We no longer get to be consultants, pundits or opinionated observers. Once we determine to lead, the first thing we must do is reorient our perspective to recognize that we are the owners of whatever we seek to lead.
Owners pay a high cost to be an owner; they also receive a great reward if they do the work of ownership well. The cost of ownership varies based on what is being led. The cost many include time, resource, energy, relationships, other dreams or desires and much more. The principle here is that to lead well, we must embrace ownership, which means paying whatever cost is necessary.
We see this truth play out in Ezra chapter 2, when the Israelites in “whose spirit God had stirred” (1:5) arrive in Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and find it in absolute ruins. While King Cyrus had sent much of the needed resources to rebuild it, they were clearly short of what was required. As this reality sets in, the Israelite don’t hesitate or waver, after all they clearly view themselves as owners of the rebuilding effort.
“…when they came to the house of the LORD that is in Jerusalem, (they) made freewill offerings for the house of God, to erect it on its site. According to their ability they gave…” ~Ezra 2:68-69
Owners are willing to give whatever is required, within their ability, to ensure that the goal to which they are leading is accomplished!
What is God stirring in your spirit? What great work is He prompting you to begin engaging? What dream or adventure does he want you to become an owner of today? You are wired to be like God, to be creating, moving and accomplishing. Once you recognize this reality, the next step is to begin acting and operating like an owner.
Steve Sample, the president of USC once said, “Everyone wants to be the president, but few want to do the work of the president.” Similarly, everyone wants to live a fulfilled and significant life, but how many are willing to do the work required. We all want to accomplish important things. The question is are we willing to do the work of being an owner? Anyone can be a bystander, a critic or a consultant… but only the owners effect the change required to lead well.
Great leaders choose to be owners… what are you owning?