Take extreme ownership towards your greatness

Not all sports follow sober and predictable rules and norms. Some sports are good pleasure and are not life threatening.

But there is a category of sports that is termed “extreme sports”. These are challenging, nerve-testing, and involve a high degree of risk. These include bungee jumping, surfing, skateboarding, BMX, zip-lining and skydiving.

They demand large doses of adrenaline, bravery and extreme caution. These activities often involve navigating heights, speed, physical exertion, skill and the use of specialised gear. To do extreme sports you have to know what you are doing.

So it is with extreme ownership. It is about taking personal responsibility and not giving any room to shift blame, point fingers and expect that someone will make things happen while you wait and dose.

Extreme ownership is crossing the line from being a victim to taking personal responsibility. It is dumping all excuses and taking ownership and responsibility. There is ordinary voluntary involvement in the greatness mission.

Most people are involved and they reserve the margin quit if necessary or go elsewhere if things are not working. Extreme ownership is a deep commitment to take responsibility for everything in your world. It is choosing to mobilise yourself, mobilise your boss, mobilise your colleagues and mobilise your team towards the mission.

It is choosing to deliver results no matter what. You do not ask your leader what you should do but tell them what you are going to do. You own the mission and you are not a mere visitor or victim. In extreme ownership you take responsibility for everything that happens in your life and space. It is better to ask for forgiveness when something goes wrong, than to strut excuses and do nothing.

In extreme ownership you look into the mirror and own both the successes and failures. You shift no blame but take full responsibility. You know that if anything is to be, it is up to you. So long as you can blame you are not into extreme ownership. So long as you are pointing fingers you are playing the blame game and not the extreme ownership game.

You choose your attitude and behaviour. In extreme ownership, it is a mindset where you choose to assume total responsibility and do whatever it takes to move the mission forward, repair a broken relationship and ensure that focus remains on what matters most. To be great adopt the call, heart and attitude of extreme ownership. You can never assume extreme ownership and remain at the same place. The laws of the gravity of greatness will never allow that.

Take responsibility

Take responsibility and keep your ego in check. Much good is lost because people are playing the ego games and too proud to serve and do what matters. Let the mission take the front seat and let your ego take the back seat. Taking extreme ownership requires you to check your ego and operate with a high degree of humility.

Do what you must to serve the mission. So much is invested in trying to look great when the effort should be in serving in a great way. So much is invested in demanding respect when the effort should be in earning respect through service. So much is lost because instead of serving people you are looking to massaging of egos. That is an abuse of time, space and opportunity.

Never let your personal agenda become more important than the overall mission. Never become complacent and start thinking that the world revolves around your concerns, convenience and status.

Take extreme ownership — be humble and focused. Keep working hard and doing the work that you must. Rise as high as you dream but never stop serving and making a difference. Turn up everyday with an attitude to serve and not to be served. Mute the choir of praise singers and roll up your sleeves and work. Extreme ownership is the salve that clears your eyes to see how much needs to be done, and that it is too early to be mindlessly complacent.

If not you then who?

The challenge of extreme ownership is simple and direct: If not you, who? If not now, when? Get angry not with other people or those that seem to be denying you of opportunity. Look at the mirror and get angry with yourself and start change right there. Prioritise what you have to do and get to work. Choose to step up and step in. Choose to move forward and do work that counts. If you do the work that matters, it is difficult for your life not to matter.

Maintain situational awareness and be ready to change when things change and priorities shift. Extreme ownership means that you keep your eyes on what matters and you are not left behind when situations and seasons change. Let the past pass, but do not remain parked there. Step into the ring and be a doer. Hold dear your initiative and responsibility for taking action and do not just seek commentary-box fame.

You are the man in the ring and there is no other. Do not look sideways and shift blame. The sun is shining on you and you dare not dose now. If you do not happen yourself, nothing will happen. If you do not take responsibility, no one will. You are the man and before you is the task. If you do not take extreme ownership nothing will happen. Stop hoping that someone will come from elsewhere and assume extreme ownership on your behalf. That would be an irresponsible lazy attitude.

There are too many not-done, half-done and abandoned projects. There are too many things procrastinated, planned and not executed. There are too many things that are begging for action while people mindlessly laugh, complain, do comic skits and wish for change. Nothing happens by mere observation, it is extreme ownership that moves the agenda forward. Accept the call of your hour. You are the man in the ring. The man in the ring is also the man you will see in the mirror — it is you; so take extreme ownership.

Taking extreme ownership does not mean that you will work on everything on your own. It is also about working with others to accomplish the mission and mobilising them towards the effort. The late Mr Michael Jackson wrote a good number of his songs.

One of his polished performances was a song entitled “The Man in the Mirror”. This song was written by Glen Ballard (a brilliant singer) and Siedah Garrett (a songwriter) and performed by Mr Jackson. In the song, released in January 1988 as part of the album “Bad!” Jackson urges extreme ownership as he challenges the man in the mirror to make a change.

The lyrics of the song “The Man in the Mirror” are:

(Verse 1)

“I’m gonna make a change

For once in my life

It’s gonna feel real good

Gonna make a difference

Gonna make it right

As I turned up the collar on my favourite winter coat

This wind is blowin’ my mind

I see the kids in the street, with not enough to eat

Who am I to be blind, pretending not to see their needs

A summer’s disregard, a broken bottle top

And one man’s soul

They follow each other on the wind ya know

Cause they got nowhere to go

That’s why I want you to know

[Chorus]

I’m starting with the man in the mirror

I’m asking him to change his ways

And no message could have been any clearer

If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and then make a change

(Verse 2)

I’ve been a victim of a selfish kinda love

It’s time that I realise

There are some with no home

Not a nickel to loan

Could it be really me pretending that they’re not alone

A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart

And a washed out dream

They follow the pattern of the wind ya see

Cause they got no place to be

That’s why I’m starting with me

(Chorus)

I’m starting with the man in the mirror

I’m asking him to change his ways

And no message could have been any clearer

If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and then make a change

(Bridge)

Take a look at yourself and then make the change

You gotta get it right, while you got the time

Cause when you close your heart

Then you close your mind

(Outro)

Make that change!”

No finger pointing

Take a look at yourself and make the change to extreme ownership. Look squarely at the man in the mirror and ask him to make a change. If you do not change, very little else will change. Stop insulting yourself and other people by pointing fingers. Let your fingers hold the plough and play your part. Other people will backslide, but not you. Other people will wait for the perfect season that is for cowards and not captains. Other people will wait for better times, but not you. This is your time and your hour to take extreme ownership. Work with what is there to create what is not there.

Instead of pointing whatever fingers, be engaged and do real work. There is no shortage of commentary, but there is a shortage of doers. There is no shortage of those who want to dance in the rain, there is a shortage of rainmakers. You are a rainmaker. You make things happen and you are committed to work for change and then see things change. That is extreme ownership.

Taking responsibility does not mean that there are no obstacles or danger in your way. Taking extreme ownership means that you are willing to face the brutal realities of your situation. You are not asking for the easy road and the painless path to greatness. Such a path rarely exists when you desire true greatness. Do what you have to do. Face the brutal facts and move mountains. Plough through the obstacles that are in your way. Instead of being moved by your mountains, move the mountains and stay stubbornly at it until the mountain moves. Everything has ears and if you keep speaking, sooner or later it will hear. Take extreme ownership.

Committed to your greatness.

Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author and coach. His life purpose is to inspire greatness. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634

 

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