Defining accountability is difficult. Holding others accountable is even harder. The consistency, clarity, and discipline it takes is often too much. It’s too time consuming. Too awkward. You shrug off a deadline someone missed and the world keeps turning. It’s alright that you didn’t finish what you started… no harm, no foul. Score another point for instant gratification. The issue isn’t with the person who let you down, its with you. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment, and it takes discipline to do accountability.
There are weeks that seem to encompass more than others. Days that seem to be worth more than the two or three that proceeded it. Months or years don’t ever have this sentiment. Time spent in months or years always feel like a journey, something worth while in and of themselves. Days and weeks seem to be like mile markers, judging your pace and how much ground has been covered. Weeks that entail presentations, meetings with executives, all associate meetings, and project kick offs are exhilarating and exhausting. As the week closes, it’s obvious what’s been accomplished but the gratification is anything but instant. The money has funded the investment, but no returns have been realized.
Bridge between goals and accomplishment
Going from purpose to vision, goals, and areas of focus requires a well thought out strategy. Going from high level to actionable requires discipline and ultimately, accountability. Projects, or multi step time consuming efforts, in the areas of focus help provide clarity into what is expected. Your purpose, if you believe it, is clarified by how time is spent and what actual actions occur. Let that reality be a gut check. Actions prove belief. They prove belief first to yourself and then to the world. Belief without action is meaningless.
There really ins’t a solid framework at this point. Take all of what’s been outlined through purpose, and focused into vision and goals, and define what is to be worked on. Create what will be created. Outline what will be worked on. It’s this step that requires something more from you. It’s not fantastical anymore, it has to be real. The projects can be actual projects to accomplish or what would traditionally look like a goal to do list. Revisit this list as it’s living, breathing, and needs to be reviewed weekly.
I continue to uncover how much I’m learning through this journey. Every step I take is an experience that builds a foundation. I’m not exactly sure what’s going to sit on that foundation, but I’ll do my best to make sure it’s solid. I’m going to do my best to facilitate accountability and discipline, even when it’s hard. It’s the only way to cross the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Compounding accomplishments are the only way to fulfill your vision and ultimately, your purpose.
Not exactly sure how I’ll maintain accountability but this is what I’m trying to accomplish within the year. Everything should point back to “Pursue wisdom, Lead Strategically, and Inspire meaningful change” within my vision, goals, and areas of focus.
Here are the literal next actions I used to walk through this process. I’d be interested to know how it goes for you.
- Review your purpose, vision, goals, and areas of focus. Rewrite them or say them out loud for effect
- Make a brainstorm list of all the things you would like to do this year, this is anything that can be accomplished but will take more than a handful of steps
- Review your list against your purpose, cross out what doesn’t make the cut
- Go back through the refined list, is everything measurable and able to be accomplished? Remove what doesn’t make the cut
- Take what you have left and document it for your frequent reference