It is no secret that I am not a fan of big corporate bureaucracies that create sterility and fragility. I am much more a proponent of the artisanal life — i.e. small enterprises and freelance structures that nurture the creative and entrepreneurial spirit. But, whatever the size of your organisation, the mindset that you bring to your work can make all the difference. There is such a thing as having an ‘employee mindset’.

It’s an attitude

All too often I see people do half-hearted and sub-standard work because they simply don’t care enough. “It’s not my company”, they say. “I am not getting paid to do extra”, they say. But, this is exactly the kind of attitude that is going to keep you stuck where you are. For, she who is constantly looking to learn and to do her job better every day, will have more impact and eventually get recognised. And, even if she doesn’t, she would be developing the skills and fortitude to go someplace where she IS appreciated! Or, perhaps to set-up her own venture.

Thinking like an owner is a way of being, and while it comes more naturally to some, it is a mindset that can be practiced by all. But, not everyone is willing to make the effort.

Don’t be that guy

When I used to work late in my early twenties as a young investor, I was always puzzled by how some people would abuse the company’s evening taxi policy just because they could. Just because it was available to them. And, I noticed something about them. My evidence is anecdotal, but I noticed a certain lack of rigour and motivation in such individuals that went along with their uncaring attitude towards expenses.

Ditching the employee mindset is a choice

If you work for yourself, there is no way around thinking like an owner. You just have to! But, even if you work for someone else, there is much to be gained from dropping the ‘employee mindset’ and taking more ownership — gains in more impact, more recognition and perhaps even more job satisfaction. However, it is a choice that has to be actively made.


Harsha is an executive and life coach based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives. Find out more about Harsha’s work.