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,

Mack­ey