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In my last two posts I presented two questions to start the new year: In What Areas Do You Want to Grow and How Do You Plan to Grow? The third question to help you develop a solid plan for growth is, Who Will Hold You Accountable to Grow?
Accountability brings a mixture of emotions. While we recognize its value in helping us grow, we often prefer the anonymity of a life without accountability. And though we all have areas of our lives where accountability is almost mandated (such as with the law), few of us intentionally pursue accountability relationships to help us grow to our full potential. Setting growth goals without accountability is nothing more than a license to make excuses. To help you embrace accountability in your growth goals for the new year, consider the following:
- Identify the Right Accountability Partner - The best accountability involves trust-filled relationships with people who are not afraid to ask you the tough questions. You need people who can uniquely blend grace with growth. Furthermore, consider people who have demonstrated maturity in the area where you desire to grow. This will allow you to not only gain accountability, but mentorship as well.
- Create Specific Questions - Accountability works best when your accountability partner has a specific question(s) that you’ve given them permission to ask. Without specific questions, most people simply ask, “So how’s it going?” “How’s it going” questions produce vague answers. Get specific!
- Schedule Accountability - Frequency in accountability displaces complacency in growth. The only way to create frequent accountability is to schedule it in your calendar. Create standing appointments with your accountability partners to ensure your growth remains in focus.
This post wraps up the series on the five stages of decline from Jim Collins’ latest book, How the Mighty Fall. The first four stages include:
- Hubris Born of Success
- Undisciplined Pursuit of More
- Denial of Risk and Peril
- Grasping for Salvation