"I'll Hold Myself Accountable" – The Beginning of the End.
We have all said it, and for short snippets of time, we may have even done it. My question – how’s that workin’ for ya now!? Don’t get me wrong – I don’t even have this nailed down myself. In fact – disclaimer here – this post… yeah, I am writing for me.
If the reader gets something out of this, uh, that is good too.
It is a noble and glorious thought that the mere love of our families, addictions [like living indoors, eating daily, etc.] and desire to grow are enough to take us where we want to go in our careers. You would think – wouldn’t you? I would! What would being accountable to 2-3 other guys in the mortgage business bring to the table that my deep affection for my family would not? The short answer is – I don’t know! The slightly longer answer [with no greater insight, mind you] is that I DON’T KNOW BUT IT WORKS.
For some reason,accountability with people you respect, like, and trust can be the ‘magic bullet’ that many are searching for. So why don’t more of us step up to the plate and become accountable to one another?
Whether it is fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of being vulnerable [i.e. being “found out” that you are human] or something few of us would admit to – fear of success, fear can be the biggest stumbling block to any action. My advice? [Remember, this post is for me, not the reader] GET OVER YOURSELF! You are not that big of a deal. Suck it up punk!
The key to a successful accountability relationship, as I touched on earlier, is for it to be with people that you respect, like, and trust. Without that – your results may be less than you desire. Why? Because there needs to be internal pain for not performing or pulling your weight and that will ONLY work if you have to report lack-luster efforts to someone you care about. This also leads in to why they must be people you trust. Not only must you care about them – but they must care about you as well… meaning they will be firm but still support you. [Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to turn in your “man-card” – quite the contrary, actually.] I am reminded of a segment out of a very popular book – you may have hear of it - the Bible, that I understand as applying to accountability. It goes something like this;
This kind of vulnerability and accountability only works when you know those you are entrusting your ‘humanness’ to, have your best interest at heart. Now there are two ways to do this – you can either throw money at it, or throw time at it… just pick one.
This is the ‘throw money at the need’ solution. I personally have never really been coached, in the sense that I have paid someone to keep my feet to the fire. The one exception is that I participated in a joint weekly call with Tim Davis and about 30 LOs. This was a great thing to participate in and may be an inexpensive way for folks that have never been “coached” to see what it can be like. Typically, however, due to mere numbers of participants, the personally attention is diminished and you won’t get the full impact of coaching. [The other side is you don’t have to pay the full freight either.] Two coaches that I trust are Tim Davis and Victoria del Frate.
This is the ‘throw time at the need’ solution. A team can consist of 2-5 players – anymore and I think you are diluting the impact. Five is an absolute maximum. Here is why it takes time for this solution to unfold. First, YOU – cowboy – have to be the kind of person that people respect, like and trust. Building that awareness with people that are worthy of being accountable with is not easy and is an investment that can only mature over time [Law of Incubation]. For the record, I have attempted being accountable to folks that fell completely flat. You will too. Expect it. You first accountability group will not likely be the final one you end up with. So what – start anyway. The second reason this takes time… chemistry and likemindedness are difficult to find and even harder to maintain. Once you find it – you will know – and will be forever better.
In conclusion, here is a small exercise.
“I, [insert name here], commit to myself to seek out those that I respect, like, and trust. I am doing this [not I will do this] in order to begin identifying those that can help hold me accountable for the things I should be doing anyway for Pete’s sake. [Yes, you have to say, “for Pete’s sake” or it won’t work.] I have made it this far in a battered industry – and dog-gone-it I owe it to my peers, my family, and myself to be better than I am today.”
Go get ’em Tiger!
[Batteries not included]