Friday, March 6, 2009

Why Do I Need An Accountability Partner

The "great" people and companies in the world find a way to do what the need to do, but don't want to do, to become who they want to be. Nearly every one of those that truly become great have an accountability partner to help them focus on the goal - the future they are trying to achieve. In sports, we call them coaches. In school, we call them teachers. Some of us have family (parents or maybe a spouse) and friends that hold us accountable to become who we want to be without becoming subjectively attached to the outcome. In recent years, the advent of the personal, executive, and business coaching industry has given us even more options. Whatever it takes - find someone who will stand in your future and believe in you even when you lose faith in yourself - someone who can make you do the things you know you should do, but don't want to do, so you can become the person who you dream of becoming.

Probably not a surprise here (coming from a Business Coach), but in my opinion, of all the things that you can do for your own personal success or the success of your company or organization, the most important thing you can do is to get an accountability partner.

So you are probably asking, "Why do I need an accountability partner to be successful?"

Well to be honest with you, you need one because you are human. Because when push comes to shove, you, like me, and like the other six billion people on this earth will usually find reasons (excuses) for not doing the things we know we should do, in order to reach the heights that we aspire to reach and to be the person we know we could be.

We are creatures that like to see immediate, visual results for our actions. And we get frustrated when results are not tied directly in space and time to our actions - meaning that we don't see immediate results for what we are doing.

Unfortunately, great results, like our long-term goals, our worthy dreams and aspirations, are not immediately, clearly visible from our day-to-day actions. They take time - they take long-term commitment to do them, even when you don't see results, so that some day you will.

Creating a vision, having goals, building plans, and being disciplined in our focus is all good stuff - but if we never actually do the work we need to do to accomplish what we want to accomplish, it's all for naught. The plans, the vision, the goals, are all just an exercise in futility.

So stop and think about it, what great things have you ever accomplished without some form of accountability embedded in the process?

Growing up, your teachers, your coaches, and your parents held you accountable to learn. Your music teacher / conductor held you accountable to practice so that you would be ready for your recital. In school, you read many stories that you weren't interested in, and had to do more addition, subtraction, multiplication and long division problems than you ever thought was necessary. And in sports, your coaches made you run laps and conduct drills again and again - even to the point that it felt pointless - just so you could win the big game.

And you did it all - because someone you believed in, you looked up to, and someone who believed in your goals held you accountable to do the things you needed to do, to become the person you wanted to become. That's not to say that there isn't an internal drive that many individuals have to achieve their goals. But in life, any goal that is going to require real internal, lasting changes is going to require someone standing beside you (and often carrying you) when you simply don't feel like doing it any more or don't see purpose to it anymore.

So let's be serious, would YOU have done any of those things without your accountability partners? Some of you may have - I know I wouldn't have. Every chance I had growing up, I managed to do what I needed to be "good" enough to get by - no more - no less. If I was good, I was happy. The truth be known, I wanted to be great, but never had any one push me hard enough to become great. I guess the statement, "Good" was the enemy of "Great" rang true for me.

We all need someone who won't let us be lazy - won't let us trick the system and just do enough to get by if we want to reach the next level. Whether it is a personal trainer, a life coach, a business coach, or just a great friend you trust, get yourself an accountability partner today and see what new heights they can help you reach.

If you are interested in learning more about having an accountability partner,
please feel free to contact me at

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