THE ACCOUNTABILITY PARADOX… the benefits of accountability are fairly clear. When someone else expects you to do something, it is much more likely that it will happen than if you are trying to do it on your own. Example: if you have a personal trainer at the gym it is much more likely that not only will you show up on time but you will "do your minimum number of push-ups" when someone is standing over you counting. So what is the "Paradox of Accountability"? It goes like this… everyone says they want to be held accountable until… someone actually does hold them accountable! To use the "holding your feet to the fire" metaphor, everyone says they want "warm feet" until the heat gets too hot. Regardless of the paradox, it is worth the price to have great accountability working in your favour.
Here is your ACTION STEP… in a recent Coaching call I helped my Client establish a simple plan for "holding their feet to the fire". In that case it was for Daily Prospecting. Keeping It Simple always seems to be the best approach:
1. Find an Accountability Partner who has your best interests at heart and will not let you off the hook.
2. Send them two undated $100 checks to prove your commitment.
3. Phone them every day 8:59 AM and tell them "I am starting my prospecting".
4. Send them a text at 11:30 AM and tell them you have finished.
5. You must report to your Accountability Partner at least the minimum standard of what was to be achieved during that time. (eg: number of contacts or number of appointments set, etc.).
6. Instruct your Accountability Partner that if you do not complete items #2 – #5 every day and on time, that they are to cash one of the $100 checks immediately. The idea is to have your "pain" instantaneous. By giving them 2 checks, there is no escape.
Remember you can set up accountability for any task or responsibility… not just Prospecting. Your Accountability Partner should follow the same steps with you so that you are helping them in the same way as they are helping you. This creates a solid commitment to succeed. One final thought… you can change the "pain factor" as outlined in item #2. above…it doesn't have to be $$$$. Just don't make it so lenient that you fall into the "Oh well, I didn't make it today but so what!" trap. That's not accountability, that's just taking the easy way out. We already know that hasn't worked, don't we? So here's your homework… test your own commitment (are you really serious about being held accountable?). Once you have done that find an Accountability Partner who is equally committed and get started right away. NO Excuses.