It is easy to talk about accountability and responsibility when it relates to others. When you turn the mirror on yourself, it can be painful.
Our cultural norms are to look outside of ourselves. For validation, for blame, for comparison, for finding our place in the world. But the power shift comes when we begin to look inside. For you see, you cannot change anything or anyone, only yourself.
For years I complained about how my team (I called them my staff at that point in my business owner life which is telling) lacked accountability. They lacked responsibility. I had to micro manage, as they just would not step up. The more I tried to adjust to fix them, the worse things got.
Then a few miracles came into my life. They didn’t look like miracles at the time, they looked like difficult trials. My experience is, that is what life gives you when you are too stubborn to learn the effortless way. Life then gives you the hard way! Humans change in one of two ways, very slowly over time or in crisis. Well, I was in crisis. With no other way out, I surrendered to change myself.
In my exploration, I found the inner path. The path to looking in the mirror and asking all kinds of challenging questions. Things like:
- What do I value?
- What am I committed to?
- What do I really want?
- Who is in the way of me getting what I want?
As a visionary business owner, I was stellar at announcing a new path, and exciting new opportunity, or creating chaos with my innovative ideas. I was an amazing idea generator. As I looked in the mirror, what I also saw was a person who didn’t stay committed to a path long enough to fuel it to success. Ideas are easy! And for me they were also addictive. Success is hard. It takes the commitment day in and day out to your intention, your goal, your dream.
No wonder my team was in accountability and responsibility breakdown. I lived there! Seeing this was hard. I went into a brutal time of beating myself up. That didn’t help anything, except to create more pain. After a bit, I was ready to leave my pity party and move on. I had acknowledged I was the problem. Now was the time to quit looking backward and chart a purposeful path forward.
Step one, chart a path and stick to it. I had to accept that unless I was committed, responsible and accountable, I could not expect anyone else to be.
I started with intention, to build a prosperous world, one person at a time. My target market was business owners. This company is all about positive change. By helping business owners prosper, it rippled out to their teams, their families, the families of their team members. Our impact was bigger. We spread more prosperity! Win/win/win.
To solidify my intention, I made a vision board and hung it beside my desk, so I saw it every day. That was years ago. Every time I look at that vision board, which still hangs right by my desk, it still resonates with me and pulls me forward.
Next, I committed myself to success. No matter what, I was going to realize my intention. I gave up the word failure. I chose to see every step as just a step. If we went backward, I might be sad. I might feel frustrated. But I would use those backward steps as learning opportunities, always taking them apart to find the gifts hidden inside.
Just like the Spiritual Masters teach, as I changed inside, my world changed outside. For the most part, my old team left. My new team experienced me in a new way. Yes, they knew I was the eternal optimist. But they also knew I was committed. I had no place for blame. Everything was a growth opportunity and we were going to succeed, together.
This was my first and most important lesson in responsibility and accountability. You must begin my looking in the mirror. What are you responsible and accountable for? What are you committed to? Once you know, make it public. That makes it real and honest.
Let people see you in that commitment. When you miss the mark by making an unwise decision or getting off track, own up to it with your team, and move on. Demonstrate by your own behavior, that you aren’t looking for perfect, just your best in every moment. The power you free up by letting go of failure will amaze you. It will also give you the credibility to move into step two, holding others accountable.
If this blog post inspired you in some way, please share your story with me at Mackey@MackeyAdvisors.com Stay tuned for next month’s post on accountability with others.
If I or my team can help you move along your prosperity path, please contact us at 859–331-7755 We’d love to help.
In joy and prosperity,