It took me 30+ years of living to figure out that letting someone hold me accountable was the very best way I could be loved and cared for, and it’s the very best way I could be the person who was a good employee, a good business partner, a good friend and a good personal partner.

Then it has taken another 40+ years to keep developing into that reality. And I’m not fully there yet. It’s a life-long goal.

Think about it.

If you’re a solo player – a person who believes that being self-sufficient is a sign of strength and/or a person who “needs” to be independent and thinks he/she does not need input; or a person who seriously believes that no one else can add value to your thoughts, your projects, your path, your idea, your plan – if you’re that kind of person, then you’re blind to this truth of life.

And here’s that truth, what Jeff and I call the mystery of accountability – that everything that exists on the planet (humans, nature, systems, etc. – everything) is part of a whole. And since it’s part of the whole, then it follows that all the parts have something to contribute to that whole.

What this practically means to you is this:

  1. If you’re a MGO or PGO – you have something to learn from other MGOs and PGOs and from your manager and through reading and consuming material and information like ours. You also have a lot to gain from making measurable commitments that someone outside of you checks on, to help you keep those commitments – you know, that “holding you accountable” thing. I was on a group call recently, with a bunch of MGOs and PGOs, and one of the persons attending knew everything. Every time a colleague mentioned a principle, or I talked about something I had learned, this person would say something like: “Yes, I know that.” The interesting thing was that the performance of this person quantifiably showed that they did not know or practice the very information or principle that was being shared.
  2. If you’re a manager or leader – you have something to gain from your peers and through reading and consuming material and information like ours. In another recent call, several of our team and I were talking to a development leader of a well-known non-profit. This person “knew everything” as well. And yet when you looked at the very thing this good man was leading, you saw it was riddled with failure, lack of performance and ignorance. Yet he confidently proclaimed that he knew everything – that there was nothing anyone could add to his path or his ideas. So interesting.

There’s a saying: “There is wisdom in counsel – only fools despise wisdom and instruction.” You could add to that “only fools despise wisdom, instruction and accountability” because, in my mind, accountability is a form of wisdom-sharing. It’s a person coming alongside of us and helping us not only do what we said we would do, but actually do the right thing.

Make a commitment today to run towards accountability. By doing so, you’ll embrace its mystery and become the very best person you can be. (Tweet it!)