The Carthaginian General Hannibal—the nemesis of ancient Rome— was once asked how he planned to cross the Alps with his elephants to invade the Roman heartland. His response was telling: “I will either find a way, or make one….”
This is a great example of extreme ownership: The willingness to do what it takes to achieve a worthy goal. This is a remarkable trait, because it’s so rare. Often, while hoping for an ownership mindset, we find the mindset of a victim instead.
The mindset of the victim is characterized by:
- I can’t, because of….
- I have to, because of….
I was on the phone last week with a customer service representative. The conversation was completely off-putting, because he refused to help and hid behind processes and procedures. He was no Hannibal.
The quickest way to create happy customers is therefore to root out victim mindsets in your organization. Now would be a good time to channel your inner Hannibal, draw the line, and set new standards around extreme ownership.
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