The Importance Of Accountability ~ Building Your Support System For Success
By Jodi Nicholson, CPC MCSC
Establishing a strong support system is a vital part of anyone’s success and as a coach, consultant and mentor I encourage you to embrace the quality of accountability. It’s wise to partner with a person (known as an accountability partner – AP) or join a mastermind group to keep on track to success.
“The mastermind may be defined as a coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” – Napolean Hill
Let’s take a closer look at accountability, accountability partners, and mastermind groups.
An Accountability Partner (AP) is someone who can help you on the path toward reaching your goals, keeping your commitments and creating a personal and professional life by design rather than by default.
One of the most effective ways to inspire and guide change in your life is through the power of setting goals yet for most of us we find ourselves straying versus staying on our goal path. The concept of accountability in business is one that is not foreign to an entrepreneur or someone with an entrepreneurial spirit. In order to accomplish the tasks and goals necessary for success, one must possess a sense of accountability, a willingness to accept the responsibility of the goal and take the necessary action steps required to achieve it.
Similar in many ways to a business mentor, coach or a goal-setting buddy, an Accountability Partner is a trusted and respected fellow business professional that will act as a goal-setting moderator. Employees report to managers who keep them “on-point”, provide direction, training and feedback. Often times managers require a go-to trusted individual to keep them focused, targeted and results driven as well. A different perspective is crucial in any business success and two great minds are certainly better than one. Who do you have in your business or “people” circle that can act as a springboard for ideas and ensure accountability?
The protocol for success is to hold regular meetings with your AP so each of you will challenge, motivate, mentor, encourage and inspire each other to achieve maximum results. Regular meetings can be daily (highly encouraged to start), bi-weekly or weekly but consistency is the key because it keeps things moving forward. A natural momentum occurs with regular activity and you begin to act on your intentions, in turn, you actually get things done quickly. Just knowing that you will have to report your successes or lack thereof with honesty at a pre-determined date can give even the most guilty procrastinators the drive to make progress and to achieve their goals.
There are vast reasons why keeping a relationship with an Accountability Partner is a beneficial plan. With life and work stress, time management issues, financial struggles and all the difficulties of entrepreneurship, it is easy to avoid, neglect or pass over necessary steps to reach your goals. Many a time, it is easier to do this when one is reporting only to him or her self. However, with an Accountability Partner, there is a greater motivation to not let the partner down and to look good in front of a peer. Guilt is a great trigger for completing tasks and an effective partner can use just the right amount of verbal or non-verbal encouragement to ensure tasks are being completed. Eventually, new and good pre-active habits are created, guilt is no longer an evident “trigger” and in the long run you will feel tremendous pride and joy in your own progression, realizing the many benefits of accomplishing your goals.
Some other benefits of an Accountability Partner include:
• Assistance in organizing ideas, thoughts, and tasks into S.M.A.R.T. Goals
(specific,measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound)
• Assistance in prioritizing an effective and consistent plan
• Ensuring accountability for task follow-through, avoid ruts, obstacles
or mental blocks to your own thinking and keeps you striving towards your vision
• Mentoring through difficulties and indecisiveness
• Having a confidential sounding board
• Sharing advice, personal knowledge and experience
• Maintain focus and balance; stay on the right course, path and purpose
• Celebrate successes and accomplishments
During your search for an appropriate Accountability Partner, keep in mind that the right person should be a like-minded successful person, fellow entrepreneur, manager or business owner. He/she should be someone who will challenge, engage and evoke a sense of accomplishment in you.
Confidence, creativity and strength are all traits that will be useful to you. Also consider choosing an Accountability Partner who you trust to keep confidence as you may get into financial and personal discussions that are confidential in nature. You can also have more than one Accountability Partner for different aspects of your life. I actually have 3 different APs that all share similar passions and purpose in different areas. It’s like a pedigree of success; and i believe success breeds success!
Having a personal relationship with the Accountability Partner is not necessary. There are several groups and organizations that can link you up with potential partners or you can visit my site to learn more. Joining a Mastermind Group in your area may be an option and will keep you on track with your goals and responsibilities in an environment with like-minded entrepreneurs.
Mastermind Groups consist of 3-6 people (or more depending upon time) that join together and have a meeting of the minds. These groups are an ideal way to learn, grow, inspire and become an inspiration to others. There are many organizations around the globe that coordinate mastermind groups, mastermind clubs or mastermind events. It is always an option to start your own group through networking, joining local group or through the Chamber of Commerce. Another suggestion is to group your clients, colleagues or networking groups into a mastermind group and be the facilitator of the meeting. Get a free report how to set up a mastermind group by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll reply with a handy format to follow: Building a Successful Mastermind Group.
Typically Mastermind Groups meet 1-2 times per month or even quarterly depending upon the directives and size of the group. The meetings can be over the telephone on a conference call line, in person or even on a webinar or skype. The meetings follow a pre-determined protocol, and allow each member to have time to discuss various aspects of their life, business, career, or any topic of interest that they need feedback or support with. Again, inbox the Success Coach Institute and I’ll send the guideline and protocol your way, my contact information is below. Often times so much is gained by another person’s topic and the benefits billow over to everyone in the group from the discussion. Much can be learned through networking, listening, contributing and participating full-out with a group of people on a similar path to success.
About the author: Jodi Nicholson is a Success Coach, Trainer and a co-founding member of the Success Coach Institute. In addition to training at SCI, she enjoys servicing a global clientele in her private coaching and consulting practice. To connect with Jodi please visit http://www.jodinicholson.com.
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