Own your stuff.

We all know that making mistakes and having shortcomings are part of being human.  No one can escape these realities.  Yet, these things can help us grow and strengthen – if we are willing to own, acknowledge and work on them.

What does it mean to own your stuff?  It means that you understand that the buck stops with you; that you are responsible and accountable for your behaviors, your decisions and the energy/attitude you project.  It is the ultimate sign of self-awareness, maturity and humility when you step up and take responsibility (publicly and privately) for your stuff.  It’s too easy to point the finger at others, rationalize your actions and otherwise avoid having the conversations that actually matter.

When people move into leadership positions, they often feel that they need to be infallible; that to err or to have shortcomings is somehow not allowed.  It is quite the opposite.  Great leaders openly admit when they have made a mistake, and show how they learned and grew through it.  They show how they pull in others with key strengths to complement theirs and fill gaps where the leader may not be as strong. This modeling of productive behavior builds credibility, and it will inspire others to do the same.  The leader who fears, and ultimately hides or casts blame for their mistakes, undermines trust and sends a message that this kind of behavior is acceptable – or even expected.

Demonstrating humility and accountability for your actions and choices is a powerful way to earn and maintain trust. 

Today, ask yourself, am I really owning my stuff?