What makes good entrepreneurs great is accountability.
Accountability to their business, to their teams, to their vendors, to their families and to themselves. Accountable entrepreneurs are leaders. They don’t get in the habit of making excuses.
And above all, they have a burning desire and willingness to accept responsibilities with a “beginner’s mind” and do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Accountable entrepreneurs assume nothing and question everything. They’re fearless “truth-seekers” and chase advice from practically everyone around them – their colleagues, their team members, their customers and most importantly, their personal “Accountability Partners.”
Does this sound like someone you know so far?
If it does, then at this moment you have an opportunity of a lifetime to seek out one Accountability Partner or “AP” who’s life you can change and who will change your life, by simply meeting once a week, 52 weeks a year.
Accountability Partnerships (APs) are the new equation in this fast-paced era of interdependent entrepreneurship we’re entering. Similar to a business mentor, coach or a goal-setting buddy, an AP is a trusted advisor with whom you trade phone calls with at once a week.
Accountability Dyads: If you’re just starting out, I recommend you seek out only one Accountability Partner and meet with him or her for 30 minutes each week. This is called the AP Dyad.
(Make sure the focus is on a specific topic or lesson plan like a virtual training or “How To” course that you’re both involved with together).
Start 5 minutes after the hour (so you don’t bump-in to other appointments) and show-up promptly for each other according to Time.gov or any other universal time system available online.
For 15 minutes YOU reach out for advice and the other 15 minutes your AP reaches out to for advice. Accountability Dyads are different than Master Mind meetings because they focus on ONE theme for 52 weeks or more.
You must be a great “receiver” and a great “giver” and I favor focusing on how to coach each other on busting through barriers versus brainstorming for new ideas.
For example, I brought in the AP concept to my Teleseminar Secrets course last year and the results were nothing short of astounding.
The students who had APs felt more a lot connected to my lesson plans (and to me), especially during days in-between the live weekly training nights.
This had a massive impact on the bottom line for me and my students. I got fewer “refund requests” and my students created accelerated learning environments that were self-managed. It was a huge Win-Win!
Paul Colligan and I are adding the AP concept to this year’s Podcast Secrets training and I plan to add the AP advantage to every training series I conduct as long as I’m breathing :-)
Accountability Huddles: As you evolve and become a more experienced AP, you can add two new people to the equation and lengthen the meeting times to 90 minutes.
The 90-minute time frame allows all four APs have adequate “reach out” times to the other three huddle members and each call is moderated by a different AP “round-robin” style.
Maximized Results: If what you’ve read so far interests you enough to take the next step, then I encourage you to seek out an AP who will challenge, motivate, mentor, encourage and inspire you to achieve maximum results.
Consistency is what’s most critical. Make the meeting dates at the same time on the same day of the week.
For instance, my favorite Accountability Huddle happens weekly every Wednesday at 5am Pacific Time. Two of my APs live in the Central Time Zone (7am Central) and the fourth AP lives in the Eastern Time Zone (8am Eastern).
All four of us have a “whatever it takes” attitude to show up. Our policy is simple: 3 strikes (missed meeting) and you’re out! No excuses, regardless of how many personal commitments we have. Period.
Our AP Huddle goal is to continue meeting consistently each week for the next 30 years. And our wives are beginning to have their own AP Huddle as well.
The AP Advantages: Knowing that you will have to report your successes or failure at a pre-determined date each week (with someone you trust) provides lasting benefits to even the most skillful procrastinators :-)
Here are a few benefits and advantages of starting your own Accountability Dyad or Huddle:
* Chunking projects into smaller, more measurable tasks
* Prioritizing and prioritizing actionable goal deadlines
* Ensuring follow-up on continuing education lesson plans
* Emotional support when personal/professional roles clash
* Coaching to conquer common roadblocks and procrastination
Who To Look For: During your search for an AP, keep in mind that the right person should be a entrepreneur or business owner taking the same training series, reading the same book or engaged in the same “How To” course.
He or she must be someone who will challenge, engage and evoke a sense of accomplishment in you. Initiative, reliability and speed are three personality traits that will be useful to you.
And remember to set up clear, objective guidelines or “rules-of-the-game” before you have your first Accountability Dyad or Huddle session.
I’ve borrowed my own AP criteria from Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). YPO’s core mission is to develop “Better Leaders Through Education and Idea Exchange. ”
With such a great mission like that, I’ve decided to adopt their 14 Guidelines or Declarations which YPO members consistently hold each other accountable:
- “I will respect confidentiality”
- “I will be present in the moment”
- “I will stay around when times get tough”
- “I will be on time and stay until the end”
- “I will make every meeting”
- “I will speak my truth”
- “I will ask for what I want”
- “I will take care of myself”
- “I am willing to make mistakes”
- “I am willing to laugh at myself”
- “I will own my feelings”
- “I will own my judgments”
- “I will not blame, shame or fix others”
- “I will ask permission before offering feedback or advice—another option: NO ADVICE”
Note: I’m not a YPO member, but I’m forever in their debt for creating the guidelines you see above. It’s yet another testament to my commitment to “never invent and always improve.”
What To Do Now: If you’ve ever had a positive experience with an Accountability Partner, please share it in the Reply section of this post. Your courtesy will be much appreciated.
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