I have been thinking and facing accountability every where I turn this week, and I honestly believe it explains so many personal & professional failures in all of our lives.
1. Accountability to oneself, for most people, is useless unless you can create concrete consequences and reward systems that you force yourself to adhere to. (e.g. Very few people will truly punish themselves for not working out, not finishing a report at work or reward themselves for not smoking) Only a select few extremely strong willed individuals can and will apply harsh consequences & positive rewards to their self accountability.
2. Accountability to others is the tenant of almost every success (e.g. I am accountable to Mr. Smith, my spouse or organization, therefore when I mess up I will feel the wrath. When I succeed, I am emotionally or financially rewarded and am personally satisfied!) More things just seem to get done when someone is held accountable for their action(s) or inaction.
Rather than go on, and on… I think you get the point.
Here are a couple of questions I am personally answering this week, and as well posing to those people in my life who are accountable to me. If you are feeling brave consider answering them yourself.
- Who are you accountable to and what for?
- What are you not doing that you should be, and are not being held accountable?
- How can you use accountability to your greatest advantage?
Lastly, I have always and continue to believe that positive rewards work far better than negative punishment. But sometimes, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do!