I’ve recently started meeting with an accountability partner, and it’s got me thinking: Setting goals we can be held accountable to is a surprisingly difficult task. In fact, one of my newest clients made an interesting comment on the topic: “If I keep my goals ‘squishy’ and undefined, no one can hold me accountable.”
It’s true, isn’t it? The more specific you get, the more obvious it is to those around you if you miss the mark.
I can relate to that. That’s why I need an accountability partner! I need to be called out on my “squishiness” and held to a more effective and empowering standard. This is what gets in the way: in order for accountability to work and have value, it requires us to be seen, which is an intensely difficult and vulnerable feeling for most people. Isn’t that why public speaking is our greatest fear in America? You are wholly, vulnerably seen. If you stutter, stammer, misspeak, or mess up in any way, everyone can see it. Because you’re visible.
How does that old saying go? “Better to remain silent, and let people think you a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
Without precise goals, expectations, and objectives, people can’t prove we’re foolish. But the moment we get specific and let other people in on the details, we’re vulnerable. What if we fall short? What if we mess up? What if we can’t do it? We open ourselves up to that judgement running rampant in our culture. It’s truly one of biggest obstacles keeping a lot of people from getting serious about their goals — because big goals mean big risks.
Personal leadership takes exactly that kind of courage. It’s the willingness to be SEEN; the willingness to stake a claim to your goal and your success, and let the world in on it.
So what do you think? Are you ready to engage today in a specific goal and share it? If so, how will you do it? Who are you willing to be vulnerable to, when will you tell them, and what will you ask of them in terms of accountability? If you are not willing, why not?
These kind of discussions are exactly what I specialize in: removing the obstacles to courageously lead ourselves. Contact me for a free consult, and let’s explore whether accountability is the missing link to your ultimate success.