When you are in an environment that’s primary purpose is to challenge and hold individuals accountable to achieving their goals, you start to see some interesting trends. I have just spent two intensive days with 40 Accountants from 14 businesses all over Australia with the primary focus being to set the strategic direction of their business. With the opportunity to reflect on the two days that panned out, an interesting trend around accountability has come to the surface. I believe that there are actually very few people in our world who can truly hold themselves accountable to follow through and achieve the goals they set for themselves. I believe that everyone in fact needs an ongoing gentle nudge. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples that I have experienced literally in the last 48 hours, I am sure you will be able to relate to atleast one of them.
Unless we sit at home every day watching TV, every one of us is involved with a business, whether you are an employee, business owner, share holder, whatever. As I have experienced from our two day workshop with our Accountants, business tends to get caught up doing business and the focus on the goals and vision it is striving to achieve often gets forgotten about. Why is this so? Typically, the owners or directors who sit at the “top” don’t have anyone to answer to which means what?… If they are not self-driven, motivated, goal and strategy focused then their business, doesn’t fulfill its potential, goes nowhere or goes downhill pretty damn quickly. So what do they need to be a success? They need a nudge. They need an individual, a network, in the Accountants case it’s our Proactive Accountants Network, or they need a system that nudges them to stay on track and re-gain focus on the business goals. I’ve spent the last two days nudging each of the 15 businesses set up a one page strategic plan to focus on their goals all the way out to 10 years in the future which will help them stay on track and achieve the desired goals. Without this and the ongoing accountability (gentle nudge) around it, business gets caught up doing business and the goals go by the wayside. If you are a business owner, who are you getting your gentle nudge from?
One of the interesting things that came out of the workshop was that business partners, of completely separate Accounting Businesses decided over the two days to team up and hold each other accountable on an individual level for the goals they set for their business in the workshop and going forward outside it. By the end of the two days some of them had organized a time and date every week to meet or talk over the phone, discuss their goals and give each other a nudge in the right direction. One of them even told me that he is generally pretty good at keeping himself accountable but even so, that’s at a level he is comfortable with. He realized that to get to the next level, he needs someone to get him out of his comfort zone and give him the gentle nudge on an ongoing basis.
I had also run into one of my friends whilst getting coffee before the workshop and he was talking about his share investment movements. He said I have been meaning to read Warren Buffet’s book on share trading but just haven’t gotten around to it. Now I would think if you want to know more about that kind of investing, Warren Buffet would be the man to listen to so what did I do?… I gave him a gentle nudge and told him to just start reading the book NOW. Simple as that. I ran into him again this morning at the same place and he had set himself up early this morning with a cup of coffee and what book did he have in his hand already a few chapters in?… You got it, a Playboy magazine, NOOOO just kidding; he was mind deep in Warren Buffet world. A gentle nudge is all it took. Do you think you are pretty good at holding yourself accountable to following through with what you say you are going to do or what goals you set for yourself OR do you need to ask someone to give you a regular gentle nudge?
I consider getting a gentle nudge on a regular basis vital to keeping me accountable to my achieving personal goals. I realized this about 18 months ago when a close friend of mine, Ange, and I decided to take a leaf out of the Proactive Accountants Network book. Just as they hold Accountability sessions for the Accounting Businesses they coach, we too decided to hold our own Accountability sessions. So every Friday morning, without fail, we would meet early for breakfast and report back to each other on the progress for the week and achieving the goals we had set. We gave each other the gentle nudge we needed (and sometimes even a gentle slap to shape up) to keep in line with achieving what we set out to achieve. In a 12 month period, we had both achieved 90% of the personal and professional goals we had set for ourselves. Ange is now living in New Zealand but we continue to do this over Skype every week. It actually works! We never get taught it, and we hardly hear about it but with gentle nudge works! With it we are able to follow through and achieve whatever we want! Should we be able to do this without the nudge? Yes, but I believe, everyone needs it, and if you are not getting it, you are in a state of comfort and comfort will not translate into the goals and success you want to achieve. Get the nudge and don’t be afraid to give it either.
Everyone needs a gentle nudge, including you so spread the word and get nudging.