How an Accountability Partner Can Transform Leaders and Their Companies
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I’ve always tried to stay physically fit -- eat well, work out, stay healthy.
But it wasn’t until I worked with a personal trainer that I discovered how far I could go. My trainer pushed me to strive -- more reps, more commitment, more discipline.
He encouraged me and held me accountable. I was good without him. But I felt GREAT with him -- physically and mentally.
The same thing happens in business when you have an accountability partner.
Some business leaders say they don’t want an accountability partner. They think they’re fine without one. They fear they’ll look incompetent if they need one. They worry they’ll look like a slacker.
The truth is: Those who work with accountability partners reach a higher level and...
Go Beyond “Getting the Job Done”
I get it. I value self-reliance. I believe I can get the job done without leaning on someone for help.
But the question is not “Can you get the job done?”
The question is, “Are you getting the job done better?”
Whether we’re working out or running a business, we get the job done better when we have someone encouraging us and holding us accountable.
I’ve seen it over and over again: Business leaders who have an accountability partner simply get more done, in less time, with greater efficiency.
Of course, some business leaders achieve peak performance without an accountability partner. But too many of them pay the price emotionally. Self-reliance is stressful and tiring.
When we constantly push ourselves, we divert energy from other tasks. We may think we’re peak performers. But we’re more tired and stressed than we need to be.
A partner can relieve some of that strain. You can let them assume responsibility for encouraging and pushing you.
When I work as an accountability partner for a client, I ask a lot of questions. Why didn’t this happen? Have you considered a different approach? What else have you tried?
As clients answer my questions, as they hear themselves (occasionally) fumble the answers, they discover critical holes in their game. They realize they’re spouting excuses. They discover different approaches they didn’t consider. They try new things.
Clients often discover these things on their own. I don’t say, “That’s just an excuse.” They realize it on their own -- but only after I ask the questions. Without an accountability partner prodding and probing, they likely would not achieve the self-discovery that leads to greater performance.
Rein It In
Self-reliant, high-achieving leaders often take on too much. They pile it all on their plate. They dive in and go.
I have one client who simply tries to do too much. I have to rein her in. I have to help her focus.
Without me, she would go-go-go. She wouldn’t make excuses. She’d discover different approaches.
But she’d also have too many balls in the air. She’d fail to prioritize. She’d work through dinner, spend too much time away from the family, suffer stress, and feel unfulfilled.
Lead More Effectively
A funny thing happens on the path to accountability partner success. Many business leaders who initially resist the idea discover that their companies lack accountability. Many business leaders confuse accountability (good) with micromanaging (bad).
As they discover the benefits of working with an accountability partner, they discover how great leaders create a culture of accountability. Individuals and teams hold each other accountable.
And here’s where it comes full circle: As this happens, leaders preside over a more efficient organization, with more engaged and effective employees. The company achieves more while relying less on top leaders to do it all. Those leaders can rein it in. They can focus on what’s most important. They can get more done with less stress.
So next time someone suggests you consider an accountability partner, don’t view that as an insult or a sign of failure. View it as an opportunity to elevate your game, your team, and your company’s results.
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