It’s one thing to be a leader and account for all aspects of your business, but as the top of your company’s food chain, who are you accountable to?
Time is your greatest enemy — on the surface.
We’re only ever given 24 hours in a day; your typical day might look something like this:
- 12-16 hours of work/business
- 2 hours for family (if that)
- about 5 hours of sleep (if that)
- 1 hour for miscellaneous activity (e.g. social outings, gym/workout time, “me” time, etc.)
After falling into a routine like that, your psyche starts to glaze over and your actions become robotic — which usually leads to one of two outcomes: mistakes and burnout. The one key thing you might forget in the throes of running your business is you’re still human.
Once that happens, your performance slips, and it shows.
You’ve been down this road before. It’s never fun, is it?
But it’s avoidable.
Get yourself an accountability partner.
This person should encourage you, correct you, and hold your feet to the fire (hold you to your word, your goals, and nudge you to step your game up when necessary). The job only needs to rest on one person: a friend, family member, or industry colleague.
It may actually be more effective to choose an industry colleague since he might have a better idea of the rigors of business, and can therefore more closely notice when you’re at risk for burnout. Moreover, you can bounce business ideas off him for feedback, and vice versa.
Don’t have one yet? Finding one is easy.
The pool of friends and family is self-explanatory, but if you want your accountability partner to be an industry colleague, the greatest place to find one is in your LinkedIn network or on any of 29 business networking sites available to you. Or, if you’re really brave, you could choose someone else in your company.
Set up a time to call or meet with the person, and let her know what your intentions are.
By the way, do you mind being vulnerable?
You know your partner must be someone trustworthy, but more importantly, you must be willing to be open with her and willing to receive her constructive criticism.
Accountability is a two-way street.
Schedule regular meeting or call times, and if necessary, construct a meeting outline to organize what you want to discuss in your powwows. An extra pair of eyes is always more helpful — they can catch things you would normally overlook, both in your business and yourself.
Do you have an accountability partner? Tell us about him or her in a comment below.
Stock image by David Dominici on freedigitalphotos.net.