Develop a CEO Mindset: A Way to Take Ownership Even if You Aren’t a Business Owner

Katie Corbett holds the book "Work Rules!"

By Katie Corbett


Developing a CEO mindset is easy when you are actually a business owner. It is possible to do this when you work for someone else, too.


I first encountered this idea in “Work Rules,” by Laszlo Bock. This book, which details reasons Google is a successful company, says it all starts with ownership. Here are some questions I found helpful when taking ownership, even when I wasn’t the owner of the business for which I worked. Ask them of yourself and see what comes up for you.


  • What aspects of your job can you control?
  • What aspects of your job are not under your control? Is this true?
  • If you were the business owner, what changes would you make?
  • What could you do to facilitate those changes while in your position now?
  • What do you wish you had more of?
  • What do you wish you had less of?
  • In what ways can you take a leading role in your career?
  • How can you take ownership of the things that haven’t gone as planned in your career?
  • What is one action you can take today to start taking ownership?
  • For you, what could the future look like if you took ownership now?


Jot down your answers to this list of questions and see what changes you can make or suggest. One thing you always have control over is your attitude. I have found that approaching situations with a can-do, positive attitude goes a long way in facilitating the changes I want to see in situations that are not under my control.


Is there an area of your life in which you would like to take more ownership? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what happens.


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Having a Mindset of Moving Mountains

Katie Corbett holds the book, "The Power of Who"

By Katie Corbett

It is a fact of life that when you are working on a project, road-blocks are bound to come up. Instead of seeing these obstacles as a sign to give up, it is important to view them as another challenge that will, in the end, make you a better person and contribute to future success.

In the book, “The Power of Who,” Bob Beaudine lists the ability to overcome obstacles as a hallmark of a successful person. Some questions I ask myself when I encounter a challenge are:

• What can I personally do to mitigate this obstacle?
• Who can I reach out to who might be able to help?
• If I don’t currently know anyone who could help, what qualities and skills might this person need to have and where could I find such a person?
• Is there another way of looking at this challenge?
• What are the positives that could come as a result of this road-block?
• What am I learning about myself, others, or my project?
• Are there any “off the beaten path” solutions I have yet to consider?
• What will I lose by needing to work through this issue?
• What will I gain?
• How have I overcome challenges in the past?

It is my hope that, if you are facing an obstacle right now, this list of questions can get you out of analysis paralysis and onto a solution. Keep staying the course and striving for your dreams. You might take an unexpected detour or two along the way. That is okay. Move forward one day, one challenge, one step at a time. Eventually you will see the fruits of your labor.

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For Inspiration, Read About Those Worse off Than you who got to Where You Want to Be

Katie Corbett holds the book, "One Minute Millionaire"

By Katie Corbett

When I’m looking to achieve a goal, one of the first questions I ask myself is: Has anyone else done this? After getting the training wheels taken off my bike when I was in elementary school, I knew I would be okay because my younger sister had gotten hers taken off a few moments earlier. I can still hear her voice exclaiming, “You can do it, Katie! It’s easy!” She showed me how to keep my balance and repeatedly shouted words of encouragement as I rode my bike down the street. My little sister has done a lot of things first; things I sometimes didn’t even want to do until I witnessed her doing them.

When I made the decision to work towards becoming a millionaire, I knew I would benefit from finding evidence it was possible through the story of someone starting off with fewer advantages than I had, who got their anyway. So I picked up “The One-Minute Millionaire,” by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen, and set about reading the fictional story of a woman named Michelle. Like me, Michelle was broke and trying to figure out how to make ends meet. Unlike me, however, Michelle was a widow, and her two children had been taken from her by her former in-laws. She needed the money to prove to her in-laws, and to the court system, that she was capable of financially providing for her children. I have not gone through the devastating loss of a spouse, and I wasn’t racing against the clock to get my children out of someone else’s custody. In my mind, I thought: “Wow! If this lady could become a millionaire, in spite of those odds, I can, too.” (And yes, I realize Michelle’s story is fictional, but it was easy enough for me to suspect that real people who are now millionaires started in Michelle’s position.)

What goals do you want to achieve in your life? Is there someone who has achieved that goal who started off worse than you, is less intelligent than you, or did not have the chances and opportunities you have? Going back to my sister, while we were growing up, she was shorter than me. In my kid brain, I figured that if shorty could do it, why couldn’t I? I know that my sister has gifts, talents and opportunities different than me. I know that I’m not better than her. I know that in some ways, she’s smarter than me. But I was born first, and when you’re the oldest, there can be this idea that you’re more capable than your younger siblings, or are more responsible or something. I have no idea where this silly superiority complex comes from, but hey, as long as I don’t lord it over my sibs and use it to help me achieve my goals, that should be okay. So, in what ways are you more attractive, more intelligent, or taller – hey, whatever works – than those who have achieved what you want to achieve? Do you have access to information about how they accomplished this goal? Do they encourage and cheer you on, as my sister did for me? If so, what are you waiting for?

If you don’t know anyone in your personal circle who has achieved your goal, do what I did and find a story about such a person. Many people are more than happy to share how they got to where they are. Believe in yourself. You can do it!

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