ACCOUNTABLE ME: Am I Lazy or Do We All Need a Push?
Just lately I’ve been watching my behaviour from the outside. With the help of a business coach, who is my sounding board as I shape and explore opportunities for the coming decade, I’ve been removing myself from my business bubble and watching from an outsider’s perspective.
I’m fascinated by some of the things I’ve witnessed – most of which are possibly stories for another time. But one of the most interesting behaviours is my instinctive response to working with my coach.
Let me give you an example. My coach gave me a copy of James Clear’s Atomic Habits, which, like a good student, I duly read … and loved, of course. I’ve even started to put into action some of the awesome advice on habit forming and habit stacking.
I shouldn’t have been surprised about my reaction to the book – after all, it was our LBD’s business book of the quarter back in April and I already had 10 spare copies sitting in my home office after over-ordering for our members. What did surprise me was I couldn’t find the time to read the book back then (naughty me!) but didn’t hesitate to do so when my coach gave it to me.
That got me wondering about the idea of accountability. Did I read the book only because I would be reporting back to my coach? Am I so lazy that I can’t achieve my goals under my own steam but need someone else to push me?
A professional push
The idea that we can only be successful if we report back to others might be rather confronting for those of us who like to think we are independent, motivated self-starters.
But we need to think about it as a natural and necessary process. It’s the support, care and guidance from people we trust and respect that keeps us on track in achieving our goals. As with fitness and health (ever tried giving up smoking or losing weight without personal and professional support?), we all need help from others.
As my physiotherapist wisely pointed out to me, doctors need to see doctors when they are unwell. In the same way, coaches need coaches and writers need editors. That is also why we have CPD (continuing professional development) to keep up with every year, so we are constantly updating our skills and knowledge and challenging ourselves to stay at the top of our professional games.
So I realised, with relief, that I wasn’t lazy after all. We all need someone to report to or check in with. And I would recommend the process of getting outside of your own bubble on a regular basis and taking a look at what you’re up to so you can see yourself the way others do. It’s a great way of being accountable.
Paula Kensington is the new LBD CEO and an award-winning CFO and finance, futurist. She is passionate about people, planning and possibilities. Paula is available for keynote presentations and conferences. She also loves talking to employee groups, in town hall style meetings or smaller talent pools, where her experience and passion for the future helps to alleviate anxiety in the workplace, at all levels of an organisation.