Have you ever had one of those door-to-door salesmen knock on your door?
Amongst other things, they’re usually selling magazine subscriptions, alarm systems or pest control services—whatever it is, they have this seemingly uncanny ability to arrive at the most inopportune of times.
In spite of a difficult sales environment, though, the good ones are able to focus their short-form pitches on the benefits of their products and services.
Sometimes, a sales is made, and all goes according to plan.
Other times, however, once the wandering salesman has skipped town, few of the promises he made during his original presentation are upheld. A buyer’s money is wasted.
More than anything, it’s this apparent lack of individual accountability that has people dreading the arrival of door-to-door peddlers—that, and honestly, they can be a bit annoying.
Still, as an up-and-coming 5am.er, though you might never knock doors for a living, if you fail to keep yourself readily accountable for what you say and do, people will dread associating themselves with you, too.
It sounds harsh, but it’s true.
The Fruits of Accountability
So, what is it about accountability that’s so vitally important? Furthermore, why do authentic 5am.ers consider accountability a pillar of virtually everything they do? To fully comprehend the answers to each inquiry, it’s first necessary to understand what accountability is …
Basically, accountability is a person’s ability to accept responsibility for their actions.
Contrary to popular belief, a person isn’t only accountable to their superiors, but to themselves and all who are affected by their greater body of work—this includes both family and friends.
It’s because of this that accountability means a great deal to those set on leading a maximized life for a number of reasons—a few of them can be found below:
- Trust – Trust is by far one of the sweetest fruits of accountability. By definition, being accountable means to make commitments and own the results of whatever your actions produce. As such, trust is a direct byproduct of accountability.
- Ownership – 5am.ers don’t make excuses—they take complete and total ownership of what their actions have brought about. The value here is two-fold, though—accountable people not only refuse to “pass the buck,” but they learn to value work, as well.
- Confidence – It’s your job to keep yourself accountable, while also keeping others accountable, too. When you make accountability a priority and hold others to a similar standard, it inspires great confidence. This is what leadership looks like.
- Performance – It was religious leader Thomas S. Monson who once famously said, “When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” Simply put, accountability helps 5am.ers steer clear of mind-numbing mediocrity.
Incredibly enough, there are people, places and organizations who’ve made it a conscious point to do away with all forms of personal accountability, fearing that individuals will feel as if they’re under constant surveillance.
Listen, does accountability turn up the heat a bit, putting pressure on those who must operate within its results-driven parameters? Absolutely. That said, in the end, the personal growth that takes place makes the struggle with accountability well worth the stress it causes.
4 Tried-and True Tips for Keeping Accountable
But enough with all of this talk about accountability …
Eventually, there comes a time for the proverbial rubber to meet the road. No worries—below, you’ll find four tried-and-true tips for keeping yourself more accountable en route to further solidifying your 5am status:
- Use Lists – Lists make it easier to prioritize items, tackling them one at a time. Also, as you check off individual items on your daily to-do list, you’re visually able to keep yourself accountable. Once you’ve committed to getting something done, you do it.
- Seek Feedback – Yes, lists can help you better keep accountable, but much of what you need to improve comes from other people. Because of this, actively seek out feedback from those who can give it to you. They have what you need—ask for it.
- Review Yourself – Lists are excellent for smaller, more short-form goals. Still, every now and again, take a step back, examining what you’ve accomplished in the past month, six months and even a year. After all, the big picture is what matters most.
- Indulge In Rewards – The best leaders know that rewards are more effective for improving future performance than penalties for failure. Though you’re in charge, make sure you’re rewarding yourself for the things you’ve done well.
* Note: For more tips on how to remain personally accountable at all times, click here.
You’re In the Driver’s Seat
With this one, you really are …
Whether looking to shed a few pounds, land a well-deserved promotion, start a conversation with a certain someone (she’s NOT out of your league, BTW) or travel the world in a future day and age, what you do now will greatly affect the end outcome.
And one last thing—don’t ever deceive yourself into saying one thing, while simultaneously knowing that the end result will turn out differently. As mentioned previously, the world already has enough door-to-door salespeople to satisfy this kind of need …
Be honest with yourself. Be true to yourself.
In short, be accountable—it’s the 5am way.