June 19th, 2014
This is the second email in the series of career lessons inspired by my recent trip to India.
On the night of the wedding, my sister and I got dropped off at a sprawling outdoor venue (see pictures) by a driver that we’d never met. Immediately intoxicated by the sights, sounds, and smells of the wedding, we jumped out of the car and got lost in the excitement of the wedding.
It wasn’t until it was time to leave that we realized we hadn’t said a word to the driver about how we were going to get home. We didn’t have his phone number, or his name. We didn’t even know if he was planning to drive us home. Adding to the concern was the fact that I didn’t have the address of the place that we were staying on the other side of the city. Whoops! Oh, and did I mention that there were 600 people at the wedding and India is just a tad chaotic (to put it mildly). Suffice it to say, it isn’t easy to find your way around in India, especially when you don’t know where you’re going.
What did we do? We looked up, in the direction that we entered the venue, with that confused, ‘Uh oh’ look on our faces. The driver instantly materialized, walked towards us and inquired, “Hello Sir. You are ready to leave, yes?”
My sister and I looked at each other with an even more confused but equally delighted and dumbstruck look on our faces. And then we started laughing because we couldn’t believe it.
“Yes. Thank you. We are ready.”
As things like that kept happening, I started to realize what was going on. It wasn’t just that India is a magical place where synchronicity abounds. It was that people were taking ownership.
Career lesson from India #2: Take ownership.
It was the driver’s job to get us to the wedding and back home and he owned that responsibility. He owned it so fully that he wasn’t going to let us mess it up. He didn’t just drive. He owned the mission of getting us comfortably to and from the wedding. He didn’t sit in the car, checked out and asleep. He was watching us, making sure that we were okay. Making sure that he was ready when we were ready.
As a result, we felt well cared for, which, in my opinion, is one of the sweetest and most touching human experiences. My heart was opened as much by our driver’s care as the wedding ceremony. If I lived in India and needed a driver on a regular basis, I would have hired him in a second.
Why is it a good idea to take ownership in your career?
Taking ownership helps you apply all of yourself to whatever it is that you’re doing and it empowers you to do it in your own unique way. Your full potential comes forward and your brilliance shows. This helps people see who you are and the unique value that you bring.
When you take ownership, the people around you (clients, customers, boss, colleagues, co-workers) can relax, stop worrying, and be freed up to focus on things more important to them. This helps other people appreciate you. You’ll be seen as someone that makes their life easier and they will want to keep you around. Your value will increase. People will want to work with you. You’ll be given more responsibility and you’ll earn more trust. As your value and trustworthiness increases, you’ll be given more interesting work. You’ll also build credibility and solid relationships that you can leverage to ask for the opportunities you want to grow your career.
There’s another hidden benefit of taking ownership…
Taking ownership isn’t just going to make you more successful, it’s also going to make you happier. In addition to all of the benefits of taking ownership like being appreciated, increasing your value, building relationships and growing your career, you’ll also be more fulfilled by the actual work when you own it. You’ll be more engaged and you’ll get to feel more of your strengths and unique value coming forward.
How fully are you taking ownership of your work?
Take a second to reflect on the following questions.
Do you just do what’s required of you?
Or, do you own the bigger mission of the project that you’re working on and pour all of your potential into making it outstanding?
If you’re thinking about your current work and feeling resistance to taking greater ownership, maybe it’s time to find a career that you’re excited to pour yourself into.
If you don’t want to give more of yourself to your current career, take the Self-Study Online Career Pathfinding Program to find a path that you want to take ownership of.
What is the Self-Study Career Pathfinding Program?
The Career Pathfinding Program is a soulful and practical 3 month online coaching program that guides you through a step-by-step career pathfinding process to find the right career for you. Think of it like an incredibly interactive class about finding your path – complete with lessons and short lectures via video, group discussions, and tons of creative pathfinding activities and homework assignments. A new module of content is released each week in the 3 month program but you have a year to complete it so you can go at your own pace.
When & Where?
The program is built on an online learning platform that delivers a new module of content each week in the form of videos, coaching activities with easy to follow step-by-step instructions, assessments, downloadable worksheets, video case studies, pre-recorded coaching calls, and creative pathfinding activities. It’s available online and you can start anytime and go at your own pace.
Who’s going to be there with me?
I’ll be right there with you in 50+ videos that I’ve created to guide you through each step of the journey. There’s also a community discussion forum where you can read real comments from like-minded pathfinders that are on a quest to find a path that fits and are writing about their challenges, fears, breakthroughs, and career transitions. It is a self-study program so you can go at your own pace, but you won’t feel like you’re in it alone.
Want to get more of a feel for it?
This is the first month that I’m opening up the self-study version of the Career Pathfinding Program so you get a big discount if you sign up now. Use the promo code “selfstudybeta” when you sign up.
(I launched the group version of the Career Pathfinding Program in February and I was floored when over 50 people signed up! The program is still in process and I’ve been thrilled with the results – some people have already found their path and we still haven’t finished the full course yet.)
“Take Ownership” is the second India inspired career lesson. If you missed the first career lesson you can read it here.
—> What have you learned from your travels that you can apply to your career? Please share it in the comments. I’d love to hear!