Join James and Megan as they begin a new show theme, focusing on the support structures that help you grow a business. In this new Support Series, they will talk about who you allow to speak into your life and business, and how to make sure those who speak are moving you forward instead of backwards.
The topic today: Accountability!
What is an effective Accountability Partner?:
- First, it needs to be someone you trust. It will likely involve both personal and business issues, unless you set up specific boundaries not to get personal.
- They need a level of competence and knowledge, but don’t have to be a superstar. In fact, they should be at a similar success level overall. The key is that you both bring something to the table. If it becomes one-sided, it won’t work for long (or is more of a mentor/mentee relationship).
- Business and experience similarities can help, but they don’t have to be exact. And you probably should not be direct competitors.
- Look for differences in strengths and weaknesses, as well as personality styles.
- Mutual respect is critical. Tough love may be required from time to time, so establish how many toes can be stepped on early in the relationship.
How do you do Accountability right?:
- Meeting on a regular basis is very important. It can be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
- Being co-located can be nice, and it’s good to have face-to-face contact. But with technology today, it’s perfectly fine to connect online.
- Put a time limit on the calls in order to stay focused. They can be short or long, but make sure the time is used wisely.
- Have a structure or outline for the call. Discuss what has happened since the last call, what you plan to be working on until the next call, and where you need help or advice.
- Business and life are tied together, especially for small businesses or solopreneurs. That’s okay, and it’s good to talk about the personal stuff. But don’t drift into a social chit-chat when you need to be focused on moving business forward. Otherwise, just be friends and talk on a regular basis.
- Pinpoint one or two things for specific accountability. Check on each other between calls if needed and push each other. It will make you stronger and more productive.
- Identify 2-3 people you trust enough to invite into an accountability relationship.
- Reach out to one person at a time and make it happen.
- Set a timeline to see if it works. Three months is a good start and will allow you to see if it needs adjustments or just needs to end.