How To Hold Yourself Accountable?

By Greg Niemi . September 30, 2014


I have been asked to write an article on this topic a number of times.  How to hold yourself accountable is indeed a interesting and somewhat provocative question.

What we know is there is a lot beneath the surface to having accountability  such as having clarity on priorities, processes, beliefs (fears), toolsets and so much more.

I could construct this blog in such a way to buildup with a crescendo and save the punchline to the end.  However, I think it may be best just to cut to the quick.

Truth is, whether we admit it or not, the only person that can hold us accountable is the person in the mirror.  Not a mentor, a coach, business partner, board member, parent, spouse, or even a police officer.

I can think of no better way to hold ourselves accountable than to face up to the facts by being honest with ourselves.

Yet, the only thing standing between you and your goals may actually be the story you are telling yourself as why you cannot have it.  These are otherwise known as excuses.

We are either achieving our goals or we are not.  We need to set clear goals (written), maintain focus, take action and measure progress and adjust our course as needed.

I help so many others gain great clarity on their direction, strategy, the key initiatives, “the big rocks”, and measures needed to have a profound impact on their business or their life.

Those that know me know I’m a dreamer and schemer and have a methodology to map everything out.  I am a planning and measurement fanatic.

However, truth be told, even I get derailed.  Staying on track boils down to what I do each and every day.

Every day, first thing in the morning, I must ask myself what are the three most important and most valuable items I need to do today in order to accomplish my goals otherwise it is so easy to get distracted by interruptions of others or of our of my own making.

Every day I write these three items on a post it note and stick them in right in front of my nose.  I cross them off as they are done.  And, if not done, they are staring at me the next morning.Focus

Of course these items are a subset of bigger dreams and goals which are broken down by year, quarter, month and week and so forth.  For me, to keep myself on track, it is this daily regimen of asking  myself what is the most valuable thing I need to do today.

A former employee of mine has a tagline at the bottom of his email which says “FOCUS and KEEP SMILING”.  Thank you Jim, I think this about sums it up :-).

Others can help us gain focus on what is important however it is entirely up to us, the person in the mirror, whether we accomplish our goals or not. 

Greg Niemi

Business Leader

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