It’s Not My Ranch

What is your ranch? What should you be concerned with?

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My wife and I lived in Montana for five years. We were an hour from Glacier National Park, 15 minutes from the nearest Ski field, and about 30 seconds from the woods full of deer. Pure bliss.

While living in Montana, a friend of mine would often say “It’s Not My Ranch.” It came up at work, it came up at home, it came up in the community.

It’s a phrase that has stood with me and continues to shape my leadership.

Your ranch is all about the scope of influence you carry.

What is your ranch? What should you be concerned with?

Are you concerned with what someone else is doing when you need to deal with issues on your own ranch?

Do you know your ranch?

There are two dangers of not knowing our ranch.

1. We lower our level of influence. We abdicate responsibility for something we actually need to take a strong interest in. Don’t give up your ranch.

For example, accepting the news a different department spent a significant amount of a budgeted line for their own purposes. Our ranch includes our budget, and the influence those dollars carry. The result? Frustration.

Know your ranch.

2. We exceed our level of influence. We embroil ourselves in matters we have no ability to influence. The result? We’re continually frustrated.

Don’t outstrip your ranch.

For example, comparing your role and opportunities within an organization to the role and responsibility of a peer from a different business unit. What they do with their time, how they spend their budget or the freedom they give to their staff is their ranch.

We have to learn to say “It’s not my ranch.”

At the end of the day, YOU are responsible for your ranch.

Know it inside and out, so when it succeeds you have the satisfaction of a job well done. And if it’s failing, you can see how to get your ranch back on its feet.

Do you know your ranch? Do you know the scope of your influence and responsibility?

Have you abdicated your influence somewhere? Have you outstripped your influence somehow?

Own your scope of influence. Know Your Ranch.

Originally published at

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