Who is holding you accountable

In your pursuit of a successful and significant life, the best of intentions will be dominated by whatever system you have in place. If you have no system, then either old habits or just plain chaos will dominate, regardless of your intentions and motivation. Without some systematized method of daily accountability, the natural result will be to stray off course. It should therefore not come as a surprise that at the end of the year, you may look back with regrets. According to Thomas Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States “Everyone knows that corruption thrives in secret places, and avoids public places, and we believe it a fair presumption that secrecy means impropriety.”

In the previous article, we examined the need to review set goals and making relevant adjustments where necessary. Moving forward, it is important to develop a system of accountability to ensure ultimate success. Your ultimate success in 2018 and the coming year will depend heavily on the accountability system that you have in place. You need someone to help you take a dream, develop it into goals, work out a strategy and execute a plan. In the absence of this, you run the risk of going through the remaining months of this year getting nothing but the same results of past years. There should be someone in your circle of influence that you can confide in about your goals and enlist help from—preferably someone who has already achieved what you are aiming to do. Before you find someone to be accountable to, you need to start by developing a culture of personal accountability by taking ownership of situations that you are involved in.

Understanding Accountability

Before you can choose a good accountability partner, you have to know what accountability is all about. Management consultant Todd Herman defined personal accountability as “being willing to answer for the outcomes resulting from your choices, behaviours, and actions.” Accountability is the ability and willingness to give an account to someone else of your actions and motives. An accountability partner is a person who coaches another to help them keep a commitment. This relationship can take various forms depending on your requirements. The question you need to answer is – do you want a role model, mentor or a coach? There are distinct and important differences in the 3 different types of people that can have influence over your life. Making the right choice will determine your interaction with the individual. The 3 types share many commonalities- they all embody a person that has qualities and/or skills that you would like to emulate. A role model is an individual in which the behaviour is observed from a distance. The key difference between a role model and a mentor is the one on one interaction. A mentor is someone that an individual works with on a fairly regular basis. The concept of a mentor is based on behaviour. For the mentee, it answers many of the following questions “What did you do to get here?” “Have you encountered this problem?” or “I want to succeed but am unsure how?” It involves observing the mentor (similar to a role model) but also includes the opportunity for discussion, evaluation and progress through two-way communication between the mentor and the mentee. The individual and their coach on the other hand have a task based relationship. A coach looks at you work and gives you advice on how to improve your results.

What are the benefits of accountability?

1. Accountability accelerates your performance as you get assistance in working out the kinks out of your plan, develop a winning strategy and execute with confidence.

2. Accountability helps you measure your success and progress. A good coach will help you define what success looks like and set milestones to measure your progress along the way and easily track how close you are to reaching your goals.

3. Accountability keeps you engaged. There are things that will come up that will distract you from your goals and take you off course. Even when you’re bored, distracted or tired, knowing that you have to answer for your progress will keep you going to the finish line.

4. Accountability will keep you responsible. When you are working with someone who pushes you to make massive changes in a short amount of time and give a report, you finally realize that you are ultimately responsible for how much progress you make every day.

5. Accountability will validate your thoughts and ideas. When you have someone to be accountable to you can silence your inner critic and bounce your ideas off someone else who can help you make sound decisions and give you constructive advice.

Where do you start?

As you cross into the second half of the year, you need to find a purpose partner to keep you accountable. You should choose someone you can trust to keep your Accountability Reports and conversations confidential. Tell your purpose partner what you intend to do so you can be accountable. Allow them to ask you about your progress and be careful to give straight forward answers—with no excuses. You will become personally accountable for your success. Personal responsibility will shift your perspective and empower you to eradicate the excuses that may be holding you up. Find a mentor or a coach so that you can accelerate your success, break through limitations and blast past the mediocrity into high-level achievement.

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