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  • Colton Woods

Treat It Like It's Your Own

We can all relate to a time in our lives when someone entrusted us with something of theirs with the expectation that we would ‘treat it like it’s our own’. For myself these six words are foundational building blocks to a principal my parents taught throughout my childhood. However it was not until a few weeks ago when I heard this phrase again that I began to realize how much of an impact it has played in my life and how much of a difference it could make in every work place.

Nearing the end of a conversation I was having with a very accomplished horsewoman, Yvonne Barteau of KYB Dressage, we spoke of my future goals and aspirations within the equine industry as well as with Double Dan Horsemanship. As the conversation concluded Mrs. Barteau looked over with the most genuine, confident and serious manner and said, “Treat it like it’s your own.” The first thing that came to mind instantly was ‘Yes, of course. Why would I do any different?’ but then I got to thinking about it further, asking myself various questions; How many people work in jobs where they don’t treat the company they work for like it is their own? What if we all treated our jobs as if the company or organization we worked for was our own?

These two questions among many more came to mind as I began thinking through this principal on a much deeper level. Having just recently experienced the adventure of finding my first full-time job after graduating from the University of Kentucky’s Equine Science and Management program, my awareness of the varying motives and tactics people have when it comes to establishing their career as well as some of the many different ways employers chose to go about their hiring process is much more well rounded. I find it important to consider this recent life experience because it was a journey that taught me a lot about screening opportunities, just as employers do to potential employees, as well as the process one must go through to earn a spot in whatever industry they chose. In lieu of this experience, coupling it with the principal: ‘treat it like it’s your own’ and introducing it into each work place I believe the positive impact it could have in the work place when it comes to hiring new employees, especially those who are seeking a full time position for the first time, would be vast.

Lets consider the change that would result from a new standard for all employees to perform their duties as if they were working to grow their own company or for volunteers to dedicate themselves as if it was their own organization. How many different ways could the work environment become more positive? The accountant could decrease the ‘Equipment Replacement’ category in the budget because each employee would care for their supplies/tools as if they had bought it with their own hard earned money. Routine tasks would become more timely and efficient, because, well… Time is money. Those on the front lines responsible for the company’s growth through sales and professional representation would take the company to a whole new level not because of the dollar, but because they truly believe in the product, what the company stands for and the positive impact it can make in the marketplace and world. All of these are significant and great products of a new standard that could be set within every company however they are just a few of the many.