According to Marriam-Webster,
Accountability is the quality or state of being accountable; especially an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions
In other words, whatever you do, there is someone who holds the right to ask you questions about your actions, activities, ethics, etc. Now this is very similar to mentoring but, they are different. The major difference is that with accountability you are only answerable to someone or group of people. While mentoring, you not only answer to the person/people, but also look up to them as role models – seeking advice in their specialty.
This is one thing people run from – especially millennials.
We tend to mistake this for micro management or a scheme to deprive us of our deserved independence when we come of age. We assume adulthood translates to becoming “gods on earth” – determining autonomously what is law & order. Calling the shots autonomously. Hence, we frown at accountability, coaching & mentoring.
“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player”. – Bill Gates
If we must take a learning from one of the richest men ever, then we must fully understand how accountability benefits us as individuals. We know being accountable to someone fuels success, the question for those who don’t know is HOW?
You are constantly driven to achieve more by the person/people you are accountable to. Mediocre will not be tolerated at any level and honestly, these people tend to push you more than they push themselves so with some level of discipline and dedication on your part you can surpass set goals.
Fear of FAILURE
When you answer to someone, it is like being in secondary school all over again. You have to make an extra effort to pass exams else risk getting ridiculed in front of your peers. I mean, no one ever enjoys public ridicule
Integrity is a virtue every successful person must have, your words must count for something. The interesting thing about being accountable to someone is that things you thought you couldn’t achieve in a specified amount of time will suddenly become possible. For example, if I want to read two books every month for a year, chances are I might not do this judiciously on my own. I will be able to create excuses for my fault because I am the Judge, the defendant and the accused at the same time, there is no way I am going to jail!
“Accountability breeds response-ability”. – Stephen Covey
To make yourself more accountable, try the following
- Find an accountability coach or mentor
- Join accountability groups or get accountability partners
- Download apps and tools that help you stay on track
Success is deliberate action.