What is Positive Accountability?
AccountabilityIt’s a trending buzzword (at least when my book was written). There are quite a few good books out there recently on how to hold your team, your coworkers, yourself, and others accountable. It’s all about how we deal with it – the what is pretty simple (you didn’t do what you said you would!). It’s the how that is much more difficult. I see many courses and consulting companies teaching on how to deal with accountability – which is good.
It’s a very hard subject because we don’t like to be held accountable for our actions or lack thereof. These are all after the fact, or problem accountabilities – meaning an expectation wasn’t met, you didn’t do what you said you would, etc. This is accountability, but it’s what I call negative accountability – we have to deal with a problem after the problem happened. Some things do require a negative accountability, but what I want to teach is a way to accomplish beforehand – in a positive way – so we hopefully won’t ever get to needing the negative accountability.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to never have to be held accountable for what you didn’t accomplish because you accomplished it??
Positive Accountability is also accountability, still one person working with another, but it happens before. That’s right – before. It’s not dealing with something because something got messed up, it’s dealing with it from the idea stage to give it power to be accomplished. It’s like good management. You do it because you planned to do it, purposed to do it, proceeded to do it, and performed it! YEEEEES!
I am not making promises that “if you follow this exactly as I have laid it out, you will become a HUGE success!!” Though I believe you will. But I am saying that this methodology does work for a lot of people – most people – people like you and me – and like a positive attitude will always help you get more done than a negative attitude will, you have a much better chance of accomplishing if you work with Positive Accountability.
I don’t know about you, but I want all my cylinders firing and the best chance at success I can muster. I know for me and my coach (yes, I have a coach), as well as for my coaching clients, when we hold one another accountable, we succeed much more quickly than without accountability. It really is a serious part of the coaching trade and a serious part of accomplishing. If we can do it ourselves, all the better – that’s our ultimate goal – to learn to accomplish on our own. But most of us are not self-starters and need a little help until we learn to become self-starters. Positive Accountability is that help.
Leadership expert John Maxwell, in his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, in Chapter 1, “The Law of Intentionality,” talks about growth gaps. We think because we naturally grew when we were younger, we should naturally grow now. Not so. You must be intentional about your growth – it won’t just happen. So our ultimate goal is to be an intentional self-starter and an intentional self-finisher. But until we get there, and for a while after, and even from time-to-time when things are very difficult, Positive Accountability will allow us to start succeeding today and anytime.
So what does Positive Accountability mean?
What if you made a decision to do something – a choice. Let’s start with something everybody understands – losing weight. The negatives are fairly obvious. If I eat this I will gain weight – a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. If I don’t exercise, I will be more tired and not able to do as much – no pain, no gain. I’m overweight and I don’t look good. If I don’t lose weight, nobody will like me, etc., etc… So we set up a program and away we go. January 2nd the gyms are full… until about January 21. Then they’re back to normal – lots of open parking spaces. We gave up. Lost 4 pounds – all water weight.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that 92% of the participants in a Jenny Craig weight loss program stuck with it for two years. 92%! For two years! That’s amazing! That’s huge! That’s gigantinormous! Now I know why they have so much money to run all those TV ads. So why do Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and related companies have a great success rate for helping you lose weight? Because they are your personal trainer, your personal coach. Same for debt reduction companies – the honest ones that is. There is someone holding your hand – some, most, or all of the way to accomplishment, and it makes it much easier – or maybe just more attainable… same for Positive Accountability.
My dad used to always say, “The hardest part of getting started, is getting started.” It is enormously hard and takes a lot of inertia to go from no motion to motion. Newton’s first law of motion says, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Positive Accountability Translation: unless something pushes you, you won’t do it, and if you do it, not in a timely manner, and if in a timely manner, you won’t finish it, and if you… you get the idea.
So we have this theory of something not happening unless a force makes it happen. If the force is not in you, then it has to come from somewhere else. Interestingly enough, the ability is in you, you just haven’t been trained to bring it out. An Accountability Partnership can also be a force for good to bring out accomplishment.
If you don’t have someone to be your accountability partner, our Partnership program can provide one – actually someone else who is looking to be accountable and accomplish, just like you are. You and hundreds or thousands of others who ant an accountability partner will sign up here and the system will find someone that meets the best criteria for both of you. After the system makes a match, we will contact you and let you know and you can get started. After the launch of the system in November 2014, it may take a short while for matches to happen simply because the database is starting with “zero” participants. As the system fills up, it will eventually only take a minute or less to match someone. The cost is $9 per month – which is uber inexpensive to help you get to accomplishment. But we need to cover our costs and you need to have skin in the game.
Not sure if it’s for you? Try it for a month – actually, three months. That’s where we expect to start seeing the best results. You should be investing 10% of your annual income in your personal growth. The benefit of this far, far outweighs the cost. Make the investment to accomplish now.