Get an accountability partner – and keep your projects on track


Some people work well on their own. They set good goals and easily make clear choices and get it all done under their own steam. But most of us can benefit from having someone who can hold us accountable and help us avoid the pits of procrastination and indecision – an accountability partner.

So who should this be? In rare cases it can be a spouse or partner – but it is usually counterproductive to have the emotional component in the mix. And it is usually not helpful when the other person has a vested interest in the outcome that goes beyond wanting to see you succeed.

Try and find someone objective who can call you on your BS and can ask the awkward question: “did you do this thing that you said you’d do?” and so on. It could be a school friend or a former colleague. It could be a mentor. It could be a mutual arrangement where you do the same thing for someone else. It could be you hire a coach who you speak with regularly – or occasionally. The requirement is that there has to be mutual respect. And there has to be open and clear and objective communication. And when you talk it has to be focused on you and your situation – laser focused.

Getting your planning straight, completing projects in a timely fashion, sharpening pieces of communication (emails, pitch letters, websites) – these often be done better when you have an objective eye and ear to turn to. So there are a variety of aspects of what you have to do that could benefit from this kind of support. It can be well worth finding yourself one or more accountability partners who you can call on to help you gain clarity and momentum, to get projects and businesses moving in a productive manner and not get lost in uncertainty and procrastination.

And OK – you saw the picture at the top, so now I suppose you want a Butch and Sundance example of mutual advice and support  Well how about this:

Sundance Kid: It’s your great ideas that got us into this mess. I never want to hear another one of your great ideas. Ever!

Butch Cassidy: Australia. I thought that secretly you wanted to know so I told you.

Sundance Kid: That’s your great idea?

Butch Cassidy: The latest in a long line. We get out of here alive, we go to Australia. Goodbye, Bolivia. Hello to Australia.

Sundance Kid: Australia is no better than here.

Butch Cassidy: That’s all you know.

Sundance Kid: Name me one thing.

Butch Cassidy: They speak English in Australia.

Sundance Kid: They do?

Butch Cassidy: That’s right, smart guy, so we wouldn’t be foreigners. We’d blend in more easily. They got horses in Australia and thousands of miles of countryside that we can hide out in, and good climate. Nice beaches. You can learn to swim.

Sundance Kid: No. Swimming isn’t important. What about the banks?

Butch Cassidy: Very easy. Easy, ripe, and luscious.

Sundance Kid: The banks or the women?

Butch Cassidy: Well, once you get one you get the other.

Sundance Kid: But… Australia is quite a long way from here.

Butch Cassidy: Oh, please! Everything with you has got to be perfect!

Sundance Kid: I just don’t want to get there and realize that it stinks, that’s all.

Butch Cassidy: At least think about it.

Sundance Kid: All right… I’ll think about it.