The Mindset of High Achievement

In an effort to get ahead in our careers, we test out new leadership tactics like we change our clothes. Whatever the current fad – from Lean Processes, to Management by Objective, to Agile Leadership – it’s easy to get sucked into the next promise of get-successful-quick.

The truth is, one simple mindset has stood the test of time.  It’s the difference between those who achieve and those who stumble, those who rise up and those who get left behind.  While it may not be some glitzy acronym or viral trend, this mindset endures as fads come and go.

If you want to seize your full potential, think and act like an owner.

The owner mindset, as opposed to an employee mindset, can be the difference in your quest for success.  You don’t have to own a company to embrace this mindset; from any position in the corporate org chart, you can rise through the ranks and enjoy significant rewards by internalizing these principles.

If you want to achieve at world-class levels, adjust your mentality and follow these seven principles of owners:

  1. Forcibly get things done. Lock your sights on a desired outcome and then move heaven and earth to deliver results.  This involves adapting in real time, putting in whatever effort is necessary and making real sacrifices in order to achieve.
  1. Accept personal responsibility for outcomes. A salaried employee gets paid for activity, while someone with an ownership mentality only gets to savor results.  If you position yourself toward outcomes instead of activity, your energy and focus go toward what really matters.
  1. Never punch out. Those who are driven to succeed can’t stomach unfinished work.  Their desire to achieve is ever-present, not just 9 to 5.  Sure, they enjoy family time and recreation, but the mission is always in mind, the target is always in sight.
  1. Find creative ways through obstacles. There will always be adversity.  Those with the owner mentality refuse to accept excuses, and they double-down when things get tough.  In contrast, those with an employee mindset are quick to rest on excuses, loopholes, and reasons things “can’t be done.”
  1. Take extra initiative. The owner mentality is never satisfied with delivering only the basic requirements.  If you make it a rule to add just 5% more than what’s expected, you’ll quickly emerge as a top performer.
  1. Thirst for more. The owner has a burning urgency to do more, accomplish more, grow more, learn more.  There’s no such thing as being sated.  They always want to reach the next level, and never pass on an opportunity because they’re “too busy.”
  1. Bend time. For an employee, taking longer means getting paid more for the same amount of work.  For an owner, time is money, and more productivity yields more rewards.

Whether you’re a recent grad or have 25 years of experience, a small business owner or a Fortune 500 exec, embodying the ownership mindset will help you stand out and soar.  Don’t wait for a promotion or lucky break; embrace this framework and you’ll create boundless opportunities.