How the Best Leaders Get Their People to Take Ownership

Running a company or leading an organization is a huge task. Even the best leader can’t do it on their own—it takes a group of people coming together with commitment and a shared purpose.

An important part of leadership, then, is giving each member of your team a sense of ownership in that purpose and their role in making it happen. Here are some of the ways the best leaders inspire others to own their work and take responsibility for their part in accomplishing something great:

They know their own role—and their limits. Great leaders understand that their role is essential, but they also understand its limits. They know when they need to be less involved, get out of the way, and let their people do what they were hired to do. They avoid over-involvement, and they know when and how to step away. Establishing and sticking to healthy boundaries is an essential part of giving people ownership and accountability for their work.

 They value talent. The best leaders hire the best talent, which in turn creates a culture built on confidence and ownership. Talented, competent people understand the dynamics of success. They’re willing to take risks and they know that failure is inevitable—not a source of fear or shame but part of the creative process. Prioritize investing in your team to make sure you’re getting—and keeping—the most talented people in your field.

They delegate effectively. Many leaders are prone to the mindset that the only way to make sure something is done right is to do it yourself, which is why delegation and micromanagement are often a struggle. But effective leaders know that micromanagement only serves to undermine their people’s creativity, energy, productivity, and ownership. When you delegate by truly handing over ownership, you free people to give their best.

They inspire commitment. The best leaders understand that people find motivation in undertaking a meaningful task, and in clearly understanding what’s expected of them, why it’s important and how it fits into the big picture. Make sure you take the time to define the work, clarify its scope and communicate expectations in light of the broader mission and goals. Communication and clarity make ownership possible.

They align and assess. The most effective leaders put their people first, and that means taking care to align people with projects that will help them develop their strengths and give them room to excel and grow. Make sure you’re putting care and energy into making assignments, with input from those involved. Once you’ve got the right people focused on the right project, excellent work and ownership naturally follow.

 Lead from within: The best leaders know that encouraging ownership is one of the most important ways they can empower their people.


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The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Austin Senecal

    08. Aug, 2022

    Great advice Lolly. I agree that leaders need to hire and retain people they trust and then trust those people to do great things. Being a helicopter boss doesn’t benefit anyone, it just satisfies an ego.

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