You may be chasing your dreams, but your aspirations can dwindle into nothing if you aren’t practicing accountability. You should always be reaching for more in your life and setting new goals, but goals without execution are just dreams. The secret to performance is finding the accountability to do whatever you need to do—whether you feel like doing it or not.
“The ability to apply discipline, the ability to do what needs to be done no matter how he feels inside, in my opinion, is the definition of a true professional.”– Mike Tyson
Success requires sacrifice. A professional must sacrifice their short-term gratification to achieve more in life. Design an accountability system and take ownership of your obligations. If you miss the motivation of classmates, professors, and syllabi from your college days, it’s time to build up accountability in your professional life. You can benefit from accountability throughout your career. Imagine having the accountability of a student with the skills and experience of a professional. Accountability depends on your foundation of good habits and behaviors. While you can use self-discipline to take action, external accountability can provide you with unyielding motivation and a support system to accomplish your goals faster and better than going at it alone.
Try these 6 tactics to find an accountability support system for yourself.
1. Tell somebody
Back when you were a student, remember how motivating it was to perform better than your classmates? Delegating accountability to your peers is motivating because you don’t want to lose face. You are more likely to do something if you tell someone else that you will do it. Make a public declaration to your social media followers by telling them what you will do to take action! The public pressure of living up to your word can help you reach success. Supercharge your motivation by telling others about your goals.
2. Engage in healthy competition
Find someone, whether you tell them or not, to compete against. Their progress will motivate you to move forward on your plans. If you just put in a little more effort than other people, you’ll outperform. For friendly competition, compete against your friends with similar plans. When you include others, you are more likely to show up and try harder.
3. Find peer accountability
A community that holds each other accountable grows stronger. The drive for success motivates each member of a team to be their very best. In addition to inviting your peers to hold you responsible, you can also motivate them to the same standards. Consistently demonstrate the qualities and standards you would expect from your biggest competition. By embodying the accountability mindset, colleagues will naturally admire and mimic your behavior.
4. Take advantage of subordinate accountability
It is the responsibility of a team leader to hold each member accountable and to be clear with expectations. Each objective should have a specific, measurable outcome. The leader should assign tasks to one individual who assumes responsibility for their completion. This can be done by setting due dates to keep the work on track. Welcome mistakes without harsh ramifications. Recognize everyone’s willingness to grow and adapt by providing them with guidance and acknowledging their effort and dedication. Offer rewards for a job well done and acknowledge when someone has gone above and beyond expectations.
5. Accept upward accountability
Holding the boss accountable is a little more “delicate,” but a great leader appreciates the check. As a leader, you should look to your assistant or junior staff for accountability. You want to be a good mentor and “walk the talk”. Keep their respect by performing better than anyone else on the team. You became a leader for your work ethic and skills, show them why you earned your spot-on top. If you expect them to perform their best, so should you! Accept comments from a subordinate about your performance as a gift to keep you sharp. Undermining authority and showing up the boss can come across as arrogant, but a great leader checks their ego at the door, knowing their good intentions. Keep the opportunity open for others to communicate their suggestions. Remember, don’t take the reminders personally. In fact, use the reminder as fuel to move forward on your tasks, so you don’t disappoint your staff that looks up to you. Address specific actions with concrete suggestions for improvement.
6. Hire a life coach
Life coaches are potent sources of accountability. Our definition of a successful coaching relationship means achieving results on your highest prioritized goals. Arootah’s coaches focus intensely on accountability, offering you the support and guidance you need to take action. They check your progress frequently and help you overcome obstacles as well as measure success and discover gaps. When you quantify your results, you are more driven to succeed.
The bottom line
While you can use self-discipline to take action, external accountability can provide you with the unyielding motivation and support system to accomplish your goals faster and better than going at it alone. If you look closely, you will find external accountability all around. Sharing your goals and plans with others, where your reputation lies on the line, creates unstoppable motivation to avoid embarrassment and reach your full potential. Accountability, like any skill, will improve with practice. It gives you a leg up from others who do not hold themselves accountable. When you learn to find accountability all around, you set yourself up to follow through on your goals, establish healthy habits, and remove excuses from your path. External accountability leads you to achieve greatness and sets you up to be your happiest and best self.
Which type of accountability do you find most motivating? Let us know in the comments below!