YKK Stories

YKK Fundamental Behavior 18 – Take Ownership

October 20, 2022
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Author: YKK
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Take ownership

I believe that “Take Ownership” means to have a sense of personal responsibility. By changing the subject to “I” for everything that is happening around you, you will see things in a completely different light and take proactive action. For example, let’s say there is a conflict in a distant region. If you are in a warm room watching the news on a screen, you may think, “Oh wow, I hope the conflict will end soon and peace will prevail.” However, if you were actually in that situation, your behavior would change.

This is the same in the field at YKK. For example, let’s say a customer is having trouble with a late delivery. You are told by the factory to tell the customer, “the production line is full so there’s nothing we can do.” End of story. However, if you were the customer yourself, you would be frantically trying to find a way to solve the problem, come up with a variety of ideas, explore all possible ways to solve the problem, and contact the relevant departments. If you think of the situation as someone else’s problem, you will think that “someone else will solve it” or “it will somehow work out,” and your ability to think and grow will come to a standstill. On the other hand, if you have a sense of ownership, you will be able to think and act on your own, which will naturally generate various ideas and insights, increase your output, and enhance your reputation among those around you. Do you see the team’s targets as something given to you that you can’t control? Or do you see them as something you can achieve? Do you believe that the strategy for achieving them should come from management or your boss? Or do you think that you, the person who understands the situation on the ground best, should be the one to propose the strategy?

I believe that thinking “I” at this point will give you a sense of fulfillment and a sense of self-efficacy, as you will be able to influence the outcome of the project. Some people may be concerned that if they take the initiative, they may be held responsible for their own failures or be the target of criticism. There is no need to worry, as the founder of YKK, Tadao Yoshida, once said, “Do not fear failure. Experience builds success.”  Let’s challenge to think and act proactively with a sense of ownership and without fear of failure!

Zach Noto
Global Marketing Group, YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.