Thursday, January 05, 2023

Owning Your Job

Source: Verywell Mind
Adam Bryant has written a thought-provoking piece for Strategy+Business this week. The article is titled, "Want to set yourself apart? Own your job."  Bryant argues that people who exhibite a strong sense of accountability and truly own their jobs are much more likely to achieve professional success.  Here's an excerpt from his article:

People with these qualities figure out how to get something done, even if the path to success is unclear. When things get tough, they don’t point fingers or throw up their hands in frustration or complain that something isn’t fair or is too hard. Ownership is not just about having a strong work ethic—it’s about having a sense of responsibility to follow through and deliver.

Bryant stresses that the highest performing individuals don't dwell on the reasons why something is challenging, nor do they focus on the situational factors that inhibit expected performance.  Instead, they focus on how they can still accomplish key goals despite these obvious obstacles.  

The article might prove unsettling to some readers. Undoubtedly, some people will label it "old school" and dismiss the logic as out-of-step with today's workforce.  On the other hand, Bryant's comments do remind me of the academic literature on locus of control.  Individuals can exhibit more of an external or internal locus of control.  Those with an external locus tend to explain their performance by focusing on situational or enviromental factors. Those with an internal locus tend to explain their performance by focusing on their personal action and behaviors.  What did I do that caused this particular outcome?  In research on academic achievement, scholars generally find that students perform better in their courses if they exhibit an internal locus of control.  In a sense, Bryant is making an argument consistent with those research findings.  He's arguing for the benefits of an internal locus of control.  

No comments: