ac·count·a·bil·i·ty [uh-koun-tuh-bil-i-tee] 1. responsibility to someone
or for some activity
In my last post I promised to build on the subject of Accountability Groups, so here you all go. This could just as easily be a self-help post, but I think the concept can be successfully adopted by our people as a whole to advance ourselves.
What is an Accountability Group?
Basically, an Accountability Group is a procrastinators worst nightmare. Its a group of like-minded people who meet for the purpose of achieving their goals. You cant hide from your own lack of achievement in the group, you cant constantly put off accomplishing tasks that will get you the results that you want, and you cant B.S. yourself or other people about what you are doing. You will have to show proof that you achieved last week’s goals.
I came up with the idea last year after I finished reading Think and Grow Rich. In it, the author talks about putting together a kind of mastermind “Accountability Group” to help you stay on track and accountable for actually doing the things you said I would do. I was also inspired by David from The Diablo Black Men’s Group (SHOUT OUTS TO THOSE BROTHAS!)
Rules for Accountability Groups
Over the months, my group has evolved some rules to make sure we stay true to the purpose of the group. These rules work for my group, but feel free to add, take away and modify for your own benefit.
Heres how my particular group works:
- Every week, we meet at a coffee shop or restaurant and we read off all of our goals for the past week one at a time.
- The person reading then goes through the goals that he was able to accomplish and tells us what resources he used to accomplish the goal. He or she also owns up to the ones he wasnt able to accomplish and explains why he or she wasnt.
- The penalty for not completing a goal would be $10 per incomplete.
- Limit yourself to 5 goals: If you go into the group with 15 goals and only get 5 done, (1) you will be out of $100 (2) you will have alot of trouble catching up the next week and (3) the failure that you experienced as a result of overloading yourself will follow you into the next week, and the week after that and will lead to a perpetual cycle of failure after failure. By limiting yourself to 5 targets, you will (1) be able to complete all 5 more easily leading to (2) a perpetual cycle of success. The more you get done, the more you will want to get done!
- Hold members accountable for showing up!: Eighty percent of success is showing up, so members who don’t show up to one session do 10 pushups per missed session whenever they show back up. People look at us like we are crazy in Starbucks when 3 people start a meeting with pushups!
- Respect each member’s privacy, do not share with others outside the group. I dont go running my mouth about the goals and projects that Maxwell has going on, and he doesnt run his mouth to others about mines UNLESS we come across someone who is able to help (i.e. a web designer, personal trainer, product supplier, etc)
- No B.S. This is valuable time thats devoted to a specific purpose. Hold the pleasantries for after.
The Benefits of an Accountability Group
Having a group of people that you are answerable to every week is a powerful motivator and will help you stay true to your goals. This group has also given me access to the ideas and resources of the other people in the group. For instance, if I have what I think is a great idea, I can present it to the group, let them tear it up, and use their constructive criticism to develop the idea further. Another example would be if I am planning on releasing a mix tape for next weeks goal, another member of the group might know of a post production guy, and that saves me from having to go find one on my own.
Some people might criticize the idea of an accountability group as a bunch of people who cant get things done on tehir own, but its just the opposite. All of my group members are high achievers who join to advance to the next level of their game. We challenge each other to be better, exchange resources and knowledge, and grow as individuals from our participation as a group. The better the people in the group, the more benefit everyone receives from the group.
For more on the topic, see my post Do For Self, but in the mean time, recruit a couple of like minded and conscious-striving brothas and sistas and you will quickly realize the benefits of Accountability Groups.