Thursday, October 16, 2008

Accountability -- The Thing We Crave and Reject as Often as Possible

We have goals. We want to accomplish what we desire. We have things we must do to reach our desire -- but definitely don't like doing. Even in our urgency we are constantly sidetracked and fall back into comfortable behaviors, only to reflect on what we did not accomplish.

Wouldn't it be nice if we had some way of keeping ourselves on track even when we had to do things that felt uncomfortable?

Being held accountable is making the choice to invite someone into our life to call us out when we deviate and travel in the wrong direction. It is making the choice to allow someone else to tell me I am not going in the direction I said I want to go.

Nothing I am going to suggest is easy, but if you want to move forward in your career you might consider what I offer:
  • Find a mentor -- someone that is already successful and willing to be available for you.
  • Be honest with your mentor -- tell them all of the things you feel are right with you, and all of the things that you believe are wrong with you.
  • Tell your mentor what you want to accomplish -- no matter the size of your dream share it out loud.
  • Meet with your mentor as often as is reasonable -- making a choice to get consistent feedback is tough, but exactly what we need to stay on track.
  • Never hide details from your mentor -- the only way you can grow is to admit the things you do that do not work. The whole reason for having a mentor is to learn from your mistakes and their experience.
  • Accept reasoned judgment -- a great mentor never judges you as a person, they simply talk to you about your actions, your choices and what you might do differently.
  • Make an effort -- you have a mentor, you are getting feedback, you are offered new directions. Step up and do what you need to do!
Putting ourselves in a place of being held accountable for our actions is really tough. But, how else can we get to where we want to be? I guess we could choose to just let life happen to us. Too often that is the choice we are making and we do not even know that....