Your employer wants you to act like an OWNER.
“Why would they want that?”, you ask. And what does it really mean to you?
Lily Tomlin once said “We’re all in this alone.” Today’s economic climate makes that all the more prophetic.
One reason why you need to start thinking and behaving like you’re in business for yourself is because organizations all over the country are responding to this historical economy by breaking into bits and getting flatter. There’s less hierarchy. Fewer layers from top to bottom. The move today is toward small scale, decentralized business “units” – sort of like mini-enterprises, or self contained work groups – that operate more independently. Everyone is running their own “store”, so to speak. Most certainly, that’s what we’ve strived to do with our organization, with mixed results.
In an attempt to become more entrepreneurial, organizations are reshaping themselves. It’s an attempt to get closer to the more elusive customer. They want decisions to be made by the people that are closest to the information. And they want them to move faster! The idea is that only small units are agile and adaptable enough to thrive in today’s world, which is changing more rapidly than a CORPORATE mentality can sometimes respond to.
So, now we’re seeing a lot more self-directed teams of empowered employees. With management ranks shrinking, it means more power, information and responsibility flowing through YOU.
You’ll need to assume some things. More personal responsibility for the success of the ENTIRE enterprise, rather than focusing narrowly on the more narrow boundaries of your old job description. To act like an owner you have to have a sense for managing the whole. You need to have peripheral vision.
Consider how you –PERSONALLY-can help cut costs, serve the customer better, improve productivity and innovate. Think more in terms of COMMERICIAL success, how you and your team can add directly to the FINANCIAL health of the organization.
What you may discover is that you actually have more “freedom” than you prefer. If you’ve found comfort in “working for somebody else” – having others call the shots, supervise you and stand accountable for problems that arise and results – you may start to see a few beads of sweat appear on your brow. On the other hand, behaving like you’re in business for yourself give you the chance to REALLY shine.
Besides all this though, thinking of yourself as “self employed” is a mindset that serves YOU best in the years to come. Organizations simply aren’t going to look out for people’s careers like they did in the past. Odds are you’re on your own. Very much like an independent contractor, you have to “build up your business”, uphold your reputation, and satisfy the people who pay for your work.
So set the tone. Operate like you’re self employed, and carry personal responsibility for your own career mobility. Whether you look at it from the perspective of your employer, or from the angle that you’re a one person show, it pays to behave like you’re in business for yourself.
Thanks for reading.