Why? Why do we get up every day and go to work?
Because we have bills to pay: Really? Listen to the news-not paying your bills is now as much a status symbol as a Gold Card in the 1980’s.
Because that’s what is expected: Really? In most companies, the last time you saw your job description was the day you interviewed-and you don’t know what is really expected, do you?
Because employees depend on us: Really? Management texts say a great manager implements systems that will operate well when management is not there.
Really it’s because Mom or Dad said so!
Accountability is imprinted into our brains early in life. “Clean your room,” “Finish your homework,” and “Be home by 10” are all part of our basic wiring. In high school, if you didn’t show up with your homework, you were publicly humiliated and punished with detention. Sounds bad, right? Actually, it works. We did the work because we run from pain before we run towards pleasure. Ever get that sickening feeling in your stomach before a big test? Well, that shouldn’t disappear entirely after school. What is that, exactly? Self-accountability.
How are you accountable? You need to do 10 cold calls, get five referrals, and schedule two appointments daily. Who knows you didn’t do this? Only you and you can lie to yourself to justify your behaviors all day (the lawn really looked like it needed mowing and that two-hour lunch with a great client was to ensure the renewal next year!).
Do the right things to be accountable:
- Have an accountability partner or coach – I call mine every day at 6 pm (yes). This person should not be your spouse or significant other.
- Keep a journal and do a debrief to yourself in writing every day. Rate everything with the standard “should you have been doing this activity at the time you were doing it?”
- Have clear behavior goals in mind and know every day what you will accomplish! Who are your top 20 targets?
- Know why you are working – have a dream board near you during work hours. Want a Porsche? Have a picture nearby. Travel? Have a picture. Jewelry? Have a picture. House, wealth, etc? Have a picture. No college debt for your kids? School pictures work great. Make that dream or goal of yours ever-present and as tangible as possible, and you’ll have no problem staying on track.