To The Future Leaders: Tap Into The Value Of An Accountability Partner

Leadership Lesson: Accountability partners keep us on task and responsible for what it is we want — and need — to achieve, further developing and sharpening our skill set.

In this previous post, I introduced this current series which covers a top-ten list of ideas I had provided to students at Quest 2017, a one-day summit hosted at Southern Connecticut State University by Connecticut’s Chapter of Prospanica, in partnership with its community and corporate partners. The annual event is filled with motivational presentations, speakers, and workshops providing students with tools for the next chapter in their lives.

The list is made up of tips students should consider as they continue on in their life, work, and careers and is made up of some of the top items on The Self 60.

While the items on The Self 60 tend to be more specific, these items allow for the lesson to be broadened and more encompassing.

In each post I provide general information about the item and a breakdown of what it is, why it’s important, where to get it, and why the item made this top-ten list.

In this post, the item I’ll be breaking down is…

Get An Accountability Partner

General Info / What it is…

It means getting a partner who’s going to keep you accountable. It’s someone who’s going to make sure you follow up on what you plan, what you say you’re going to do, and calls you out on your BS when needed.

It’s someone you trust, who has your best interests in mind and at heart, but, nonetheless – and most importantly — keeps you accountable.

It is someone with whom you will communicate closely and regularly, sharing the progress you’re making in your career, life, and/or general development. And the relationship has to be one built on trust.

Although the relationship can go one way, where only one person is the accountability partner, not desiring any accountability for themselves, in the best and strongest partnerships, the relationship is symbiotic – it goes both ways, in that you both support each other.

In the mutual arrangement, each partner recognizes both the value of keeping someone else accountable and being kept accountable themselves. Each experience sharpens their skills in the other.

Each partner in the arrangement should be willing to put into that relationship as much as they’re getting out of it.

Why it’s important…

An accountability partner is someone who holds you to task. You’ve shared with them what your goals and dreams are and what you think it will take to achieve them, and they’re going to make sure you are sticking to your plan to reach them.

In this partnership it’s also important to outline what it is you fear. We should work to optimize our actions toward our goals while simultaneously working to offset the threats of our fears. Sharing our fears along with our triumphs allows us to appreciate both the positive and the negative experiences, seeing them more clearly and learning how to build upon them.

The partnership also provides motivation. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep yourself motivated. You have your own tunnel vision of what’s happening, and what’s possible. Speaking to someone else about the issues at hand can provide some clarity, a different perspective, and a wider view into the periphery just beyond of the edges of your vision.

Oftentimes, what also holds us back is that we remain inside our own head, not sharing what our thought process is. Accountability partnerships can relieve that stress and pressure, easing the undue burden and allowing us to think more clearly.

Where to get it…

Accountability partners can be anywhere. They can be someone you’ve known all your life, someone you’ve met along the way, or, honestly, in some cases, someone you just met.

Regardless of when you met them, the important part is the commitment on their part to hold you to your word that you’re going to work on your plan of action to achieve what you want to achieve. And, again, there is also a reciprocal commitment on your part to them.

We know, or can meet, so many people of myriad backgrounds, abilities, and drive. We need to find someone who is curious enough to seek what they want for themselves and understands the reciprocal value of having an accountability partner.

Why it’s a Top-Ten off The Self 60…

This item is one of the most powerful items because of the support we need to achieve what we want.

The relationship builds off of the known and provides a partner with whom we can delve into the unknown.

Through these types of partnerships, we can learn how to see our lives, work, situations, and goals from a different angle. The conversations can help us articulate and refine who we are and what we want.

It is not only someone who will listen to you but who also shares their thoughts on how you’re doing.

Rarely can anyone achieve their definition of success on their own. It benefits each of us to have someone on our side with whom we can bounce ideas off of, brainstorm, and maintain accountability.

Most items on The Self 60 can’t happen effectively if we don’t understand the power of accountability and having the right people in our corner.

Overall, an accountability partnership needs to demonstrate commitment, honesty, curiosity, AND consistency.

Also, an accountability partnership doesn’t necessarily need to exist between people in the same field, major, or even industry. It is the outlining, planning, tracking, assessing, and completion of developmental goals that reflect the collaboration of an accountability partnership. And none of those components is specific to any one industry.

Another important point to consider is that accountability partnerships don’t need to be carried out in a one-on-one relationship. It can be a group of colleagues and friends who support each other.

Don’t go it alone. Seek people out who have a similar drive to yours to develop and become their best. They can push you both forward and up to thrive and explore, while asking you tough questions to keep you grounded, focused, and on task.

With an accountability partner, it’s not the specifics of the lives and work that matter, but the common understanding that pushing forward is key to fulfillment and goal achievement.

The Top Ten (in no particular order)

  1. Find your Driver(s) & Motivation(s)
  2. All Your Experiences Structure Your Path Forward
  3. Get An Accountability Partner
  4. Position Yourself For Your Success
  5. Your Worth & Value – Know It / Build It / Provide It / Live It
  6. Face Your Weaknesses & Fears
  7. Always Keep Learning
  8. Develop Your Awareness – Of Self & Others
  9. Be Part Of & Contribute To Your Community
  10. Do Not Wait For Life To Come To You

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