I used to bristle at the idea of “accountability” because it always felt like the kid who didn’t do her homework and now has to walk ‘the hall of shame’ as she walks into the classroom.
But that’s not the idea at all. In fact, there is tremendous value in putting a stake in the ground publicly.
The kind of accountability that we want to create in our lives is the kind that brings out the best in us.
Here are the components of Accountability that brings out the best in us…
William Murray said it best – “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
There is a difference when we make a commitment in private vs public. When we put a stake in the ground publicly, we MUST get it done. Every (yes, EVERY) webinar I’ve ever done, I’ve put a stake in the ground before I was ready. And guess what – I GOT ready because I HAD to. Public accountability motivates us to take action.
Stating a CLEAR goal creates focus. It gives us a single thing to focus on. Get that done and then move to the next. Whatever I can do to help create focus is critical for me. I can lose entire days to distraction (and trust me, I have) if I don’t put in place tools and habits to help me focus.
Challenge creates flow. Flow is that state when we feel our best and perform our best. When we challenge ourselves to step outside our comfort zone just enough – into what I call the 4% where the challenge/skill ratio is just right – we create a trigger for flow. The reason that challenge puts us into flow is because it requires our presence in this NOW moment. We’re scared just enough that we HAVE to pay attention.
Here’s the most important part. For all of the reasons I’ve just mentioned, accountability changes us. It causes us to step up. It causes us to get it done. It gives us a sense of accomplishment. And that boosts our confidence, our competence, and our courageousness moving forward.
Bottom line. Accountability works.
Your Turn to reflect on the value of Accountability
How has accountability changed you?