How to be accountable

Six Personal Perspectives – #6 – Be Accountable

(This post is part of a series: the Six Personal Perspectives. Click here to review the first perspective, here for the second, here for the third, here for the fourth, and here for the fifth.)

Accountability is a way of being

Accountability begins with taking responsibility for your choices and actions. Accountable people focus on what THEY can control, and they get on with it.

It’s very self-focused, which at first can seem strange, yet it is in getting control of our own selves first that we become able to help others on a high level. Accountable people focus on the plan, not the problem.

They ask:

What can I do? And by when will I do it?

And when they fall short, they ask:

What happened? What got in my way? What can I do differently next time?

The opposite of being accountable is being in victim-mode

Last month I had the occasion to sit for a while beside a hotel pool at the tail-end of Keller Williams training in South Carolina called Coaching Skills Camp.

There was a DJ playing music, and a song came on that caught my attention. Now, I basically live under a rock when it comes to music, movies, and entertainment in general. So I have no idea who sings this song. Perhaps you do. What struck me was the words in the refrain – the sounds of a woman’s voice – repeating over and over again: look what you made me do.

I’ll be honest – I found myself agitated by those repeating words and wishing the song would hurry up and end. I thought to myself: I hope my kid never hears that song. The last thing he needs is a reinforcement of the wrong-headed idea that anyone can make anyone else do something.

All of us go into victim-mode sometimes, our culture is filled with it.

Accountability requires us to engage others for help

The best way to ensure that you’re doing the things you’ve committed to is to tell other people about it.

Imagine that your goal is to build three widgets per week for the next six months, because that will get you a hefty production bonus at your job.

What if you told your kids that this was your goal, and then said that if you hit it, you’d take them to Disneyland?

Do you think they’re going to ask you every day and every week how many widgets you built?

Many people will cringe at this idea (including me when I first heard it) because we automatically go to the negative and imagine the pain of telling our kids that we failed.

Yet doesn’t that accountability help us push through to succeed?

We did want to succeed when we set the goal, right?

Another one is to write a check to an organization that you utterly oppose, and then give it to someone to hold on for you, with the instructions that if you do not complete the task you committed to by a certain deadline, they can mail the check to the organization.

Would something like that get you to fully commit to your goal and execute on it?

The Six Personal Perspectives stack upon one another like a pyramid

The six personal perspectives are ordered in the way that they are for a reason- they build upon one another.

In order for accountability to work, we need to ask questions to determine our true goal. We must investigate and examine our strengths and weaknesses, use the 80/20 principle, and install systems and processes. We must be committed to learning new skills and ways of being, and to remove or replace the beliefs that hold us back. In order to be accountable, we must have clarity.

If you were to choose to adopt the Six Personal Perspectives in your life, what would that do for you?

What would it do for those you care about?


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