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What do you own?

Not material possessions. Not things you can buy in exchange for money or for any other service that you can offer. These things rarely affect people around you.

Do you own something that can gravitate people around you? Do you own something that can channelize the efforts of those around you (and your own) towards achieving a greater goal? Do you own something that will stir up passion in those around you? Do you own something that can make a dent in the Universe (hat tip to Steve Jobs)?

Do you own a vision? Do you own an idea?

Only if you do will you be able to put in your best efforts and convince those around you to do the same. Without ownership, you're just meeting deadlines or just meeting expectations set by others. Without ownership, there is never a high amount of internal motivation. Without ownership, you will not take not achieving targets as a personal failure. You will only see it as a situation to be handled with those who have set the expectations in the first place. You will settle for second best or third best. You will settle for whatever it is that you can get away with.

When you build your product this way, without ownership, you will always benchmark your performance with the competition. You will end up doing (or trying to do) just a little better than your competitors. You will treat your customers as sources of profit rather than the group whose problem you're addressing. You will only have short term goals in sight. And your product will never be anything more than average (at best) that will fizzle out of the market before you can do anything about it.

Even if you're an employee of a large organization, unless you own some project (however small), you will have no commitment to meeting deadlines. You will start wilting under the pressure applied on you by your boss, and you will start hating your boss, or your job, or both.

When you own an idea, you always have the grand vision in sight. You will look forward to getting there. And you will do everything you can to move things in that direction.

What do you own?

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