When You Live An Accountable Life,
You Not Only Take Responsibility
For Your Own Actions But Also For Those Of Others.
This may seem like a tall order, but it is important in your overall success that you understand the real meaning of “The Buck Stops Here.” Jeffrey Benjamin said, “Delegating responsibility does not diminish personal accountability.” Think about this: if you delegate responsibility, you must still be sure that you take responsibility for the outcome of the work and that means holding others accountable as well.
In order to delegate but still maintain control, I like to have what I call an “accountability partner.” This person is someone who reminds you of your own responsibilities and you, in turn, remind that person of his or her responsibilities. This keeps everyone “honest.”
Think about this in terms with which most of us are familiar: diet and exercise. When you go on a diet or start an exercise regimen, it is easy to “cheat.” Therefore, many people choose a partner with similar goals and share their daily struggles with that person. If one person feels like cheating on the diet or skipping exercise, the partner is there to shore him or her up. This is a great way to find success in personal endeavors. Similar methods are used to stop bad habits like smoking or even to earn money for a worthy cause. The recent “ice bucket” challenges are a great example of this!
However, in business, an accountability partner has an even more important job. When we tell someone else what we are going to do, it is difficult to fail to follow through because, ironically, we are often more worried about what other people think of us than what we think of ourselves! Accountability to others helps us develop good habits, remain consistent and ultimately reach our goals. Therefore, it is very important to share your goals with the people around you. Explain that you want them to hold you accountable for meeting your goals and allow them to have input on your timeline and the reasonableness of your plans. If you have the support of your peers and if they are holding you accountable, you are far more likely to reach whatever goals you set for yourself.
Will you be my accountability partner?