Taking full responsibility for your work -- that's a new hire's most valuable attribute, one that can't be bought or trained.
I was speaking to a group of soon-to-graduate MBA students recently, and one asked me this: What's the most valuable attribute of a new corporate hire? I had to think for a moment.
"Can we leave out ethics？"I asked. That got a big laugh.
No, I said, what I meant was: Can we assume that the person is highly ethical and then choose the next most critical attribute? Yes? Well, then I'd say: Ownership.
UNPLEASANT SURPRISE. Ownership? I don't mean that the new hire has to own anything in particular -- a decent suit or a pair of shoes. I mean ownership of the job, meaning the instinct and the drive to take on its responsibilities -- completely.
The MBA students had to chew on that for a minute. But any CEO or senior leader knows what I mean. Any experienced exec has at least one story about turning to a lieutenant during a crisis and getting an unpleasant surprise. "What's your plan?" they may have asked, only to hear:
"Well, I think that's Johnson's department."
"I really don't have experience in that sort of thing."
"It's not in my budget."
"One of my team members was supposed to handle it."
"My dog ate the presentation."
You get the picture. This is when managers find out, in the most inopportune way, that they have a lieutenant with an ownership problem.
A NATURAL QUALITY. Is ownership the same as taking responsibility? Yes, except that ownership means taking responsibility to the nth degree. People who'll commit to that extent don't even think about whether they're taking a little, a moderate amount, or a lot of responsibility.
When you own your job, you simply do whatever needs to be done. And you own it, or you don't. You may be willing to share credit for successes -- let's hope so, if you manage a team -- but you don't shy away from responsibility for failure. It's just yours.
You can't train this into a person, and you can't pay a person who's not ownership-oriented enough money to change. If you try, you may see incremental improvement. But taking true, gut-level responsibility for a job is a natural quality. It's one that, more than any other, can make the difference between the success and failure of your team. Ultimately, it's more important than industry experience, brains, technical skills, you name it.
（来源：易学网 英语点津 Annabel 编辑）