2021 Annual Theme: Accountability

In 2006, during my Failed Job Search, I was at a job club networking meeting and they were talking about accountability. What I learned in that conversation went with me to my presentations around the world.

The facilitator said we MUST have someone to be accountable to. At the time, I was accountable to myself. TL;DR: It didn’t work. I needed to be accountable to someone else.

They made a strong plea to not have our accountability partner not be our spouse or significant other. That person is usually very emotionally invested in the outcomes, and will not be the same kind of accountability partner as someone who isn’t emotionally invested. I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough.

A few days ago I saw this tweet from my friend Caitlyn, and after pondering this year’s theme, I knew it should be accountability:

Accountability group.

Similar to a mastermind group.

Folks, this isn’t hokey stuff that weirdos do. These are strategic tactics that people who want to improve, change, and accomplish implement.

Finding someone you can report to is a strategic tactic.

I currently have people who for I’m an accountability partner. They report to me their status/progress, and sometimes if I don’t hear from them I ask for a status (although, generally, the person reporting should initiate the conversation instead of the accountability partner having to chase them).

Successful leaders have coaches, who many times are accountability partners.

This is a success principle. It is not a sign of weakness. It is not a sign of being incompetent. It is a sign of humility paired with the desire to improve.

We can all use the fruits of being accountable.

2021 seems like a great time to start.

If you don’t want to ask someone to be your accountability partner then GET A JOURNAL. And be accountable, in writing, to your journal. Don’t overthink this… here’s an example of what I did last year:

Considering my job is mostly sitting at my computer, I knew I needed to get more physical. So, in order to be more accountable, I send a text to someone every time I finish a ride on the exercise bike. I try to ride an hour and usually get somewhere around 20 miles in. I don’t think that is amazing, but for me it’s more important to be CONSISTENT. 20 miles, many times over the year, adds up.

So I send a text. I don’t care if I get a response. I don’t need an attaboy. But I send the text with the miles I do… like: 20.53. That’s it. BONUS: Since it is in my text history, I can look back and see how often I rode, and how my numbers were. I can see that coming off of a health issue I had to build up from 18 and 19 miles… and for a while there I was over 22 miles (that was a hustle for me!).

I am accountable to someone else, and I have a record for myself.

We are looking for the fruits, some of which come from being consistent with the process.

Whether you get a group, like Caitlyn did, or one person, or just your journal or a spreadsheet, become accountable.

Measure. Report. And then make decisions from there.

Here’s to an excellent 2021!