Leadership in unlikely places

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Inspire ownership by involving employees in major decisions. Are your employees renters or owners? If they're the former, they treat the company much like they might a hotel bathroom (they leave wet towels piled on the floor) or a rental car (they turn it in with a bug-splattered windshield). If they're the latter, they actively look out for the company's best interests and its bottom line. Leaders inspire ownership by involving employees at all levels in resolving problems and pinpointing opportunities.

"We all make decisions about how much we are willing to commit to an organization," says Jones. "The most successful companies are the ones that have figured out that employee ownership is the magic ingredient that can propel an organization to success. That's especially true in the middle of a recession, when your very survival likely depends on engaging staff and getting their best ideas on the table."

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