The second of two guest posts focused on the power of accountability, today Carey Earle talks about how having an accountability partner has helped her to succeed.
My husband likes to joke that I have “completion issues.” In my case, I revel in completing things and have a hard time separating from my computer when there’s more to be done. And, as we all know, there’s always more to be done. So, prioritizing is key for me, and also remembering to breathe, and cut the computer’s umbilical cord which connects straight to my brain.
Ann and I started working together after I’d started a new marketing practice as a free agent. I was transitioning from owning a marketing firm with employees to building a virtual consultancy with me at the center of the wheel and contractors and partners as my spokes.
It was a big transition for me, and Ann really helped me to focus on my goals and prioritize what I needed to do to achieve them.
We started by sharing our business goals, and then later expanded that to include our “Best Year Yet” road maps for the year. We schedule a weekly phone call and then look at where we are juxtaposed to our goals.
We have become each other’s coach – probing on issues that we’re facing, checking-in on goals that seem to be barely breathing and supporting each other through the roadblocks that come from any transition.
What I’ve Gained:
- Weekly White Space. Our calls have become the thinking time that is so easily lost when I get busy and overwhelmed. Our calls act as a safe zone for thinking, for ideas and for confessing fears or doubts about what I’m doing.
- Sounding Board. I’ve also used our calls to sort through any immediate or hot issue that I’m facing. When I’m very close to a problem, Ann can often see the solution from her perspective – and of course, talk me down from the tree!
- Results Focus. The weekly call keeps me focused on what I’m doing and what I still need to do. It helps prevent that sinking feeling of getting to the end of a quarter and realizing that I’m way off course.
- Trust. I trust Ann with the hopes and fears that are part of my goals. This kind of trust is invaluable and difficult to create in a group. It allows us to be brutally honest with each other about where we are, where we want to go and what we think is holding us back.
Five Ways to Get Started
1. Choose a peer that you have chemistry with – both on a business and personal level. Check the other person’s interest level and make sure you both are committed.
2. Make a commitment to your weekly call, and if you slip up for a couple weeks, just get back on track!
3. Agree on a goal framework such as Best Year Yet, so you both can start from the same goal sheet.
4. Set weekly goals that build to larger goals. Every journey begins with a step. The power of the weekly call is that you commit to small steps that lead to the results you want to achieve.
5. Do your homework. At the end of each call, tell your accountability partner what you will accomplish in the coming week. Then, as Nike has taught us: Just do it!
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