Ownership - it's personal, but it's not about you!

The Change Room Judgement LinkedIn.jpg

As business owners, a common challenge is separation of identity - we confuse who we are with what our business does.

Understandably we’re protective of our creation, but collapsing our own identity with that of the business will destroy our experience of ownership and deplete our profits. I’ve experienced this myself and I see it with clients, and nowhere is it more visible and destructive than when developing and leading our team.

I’ve been with clients this past week, working with them to be more skilful in resolving these challenges. With team members consistently arriving late and finding excuses for poor performance, one client attempted a ‘crucial conversation’ only to walk away feeling ineffective and annoyed.

Learning to put space between you and your business is critical. This separation of powers - self from business - is also an effective ally in silencing your internal/infernal judgement providing you the time to develop greater rigour in your thinking.

By weeks end, having implemented a simple two-pronged approach, my clients had broken the nexus and could feel the difference. I was speaking with empowered and responsible business leaders.

Following is a snippet of how it works.

The Simplicity of Business

Resources have been invested in your business and a return is required by way of dividends and capital growth.

As a CEO or MD we provide our expertise in exchange for a salary. We have a financial responsibility to our investors to get them a return on their capital investment. *** NB you may be your one and ONLY investor but that doesn’t relieve you from the same obligation.  

Create a visual diagram of all your investments - house, property, share portfolio - and include your business. This is a healthy reminder that your business should be viewed in the same context as your other investments.

 The Manifesto of Ownership

A Manifesto is a statement of beliefs, aims and policies for your organisation and can be the guiding principle for behaviour for yourself AND your team.

It can be a visible, common source that gets used as:-

  • An agreed, external standard

  • A non-judgemental adjudicator

  • Helps others to lead with authority

  • And puts something other than our ego at the centre of decision points.

I totally get how ‘personal’ business can be. I’ve been the leader of my own businesses since age 23. I've experienced getting ‘lost’ in my own leadership and found sanity and results by implementing these simple, yet effective guidelines.


Suzy Jacobs is a performance coach for business owners and thought leaders. She’s an International Emcee, podcast producer and investment translator. Listen to The Change Room, a podcast by Suzy Jacobs and head to www.suzyjacobs.com for how you can work with Suzy to transform your experience and revolutionise your results.

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