June 29

I often ask managers, “If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about your work situation right now, what would it be?” There are two distinct types of responses I get.

The first response is what I call the “contingency” response. This contains statements like “If only (insert name) would listen to me, then…” or “If we would take on better clients, then…” or other types of contingency-based responses. These responses nearly always target someone else for the problems they are experiencing.

Then, there are what I call “ownership” responses: “I would like to assume more responsibility for…” or “I would pursue bigger clients so that we can make more of a name for ourselves in the industry,” or “I would give our team more time for personal development so they can expand their capacity.” These are responses that are positive and vision focused. Those who respond in this way focus more on what’s possible than on what’s being withheld from them.

To succeed in life, you must assume full ownership of both the prob- lems and opportunities in your world. When you focus on possibilities, you begin to marshal your resources toward bringing them into being. When you focus on limitations, you train yourself to wait for someone else to fix the problem.

Own both your problems and opportunities.


if you could snap your fingers and change one thing in your work world, what would it be?

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