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3 Steps to Make Your Accountability Group Suck-Less

Yeah I said it!!

Your Accountability group SUCKS!! Stop wasting time and make it suck-less following 3 braindead steps

In today’s digital age, we find ourselves entrenched in the tools we work with and the platforms we work on. As entrepreneurs, tools and platforms are extremely significant to the day to day operations as they apparently help increase productivity. A lot of truth to that statement.

There is also the ever meaningful element of social engagement that lures us to specific tools and platforms. And because of this, we quickly gravitate to these tools and platforms when our desire for accountability surfaces, as if the tools and platforms will increase productivity in that arena of our professional development. Tools and Platforms, Tools and Platforms LOL

Hello, “Modern Accountability”

Does this look familiar?

Many of you might be an “accountability” partner for someone and/or have your own accountability partner already. And you found them on Facebook or LinkedIn.

AND now you FB message each other or skype to keep it moving. Can you relate? Ok, how about this one? Mastermind groups anyone?

How many “mastermind” groups are you a part of on Facebook? or Slack? or Skype? I submit that this “modern accountability” approach is more detrimental than anything else! Yes, I said it 🙂

Well, at least in relation to tangible transformation and results-oriented pursuits.

Here are a couple convincing reasons why I think the “modern accountability” movement is a no bueno model

You’re welcome

1. Meaningless Skype Chats

Oftentimes when we think about getting together in a “mastermind” group outside of another group we’re a part of, the hope is to create a small enough crowd that will serve as the proverbial “kick in the a$%” venue to move us to action. It’s definitely a great move.

Shrinking your circle of communication via Skype, in a closed setting is well worth the experience. But as many of you can attest to, it eventually becomes a glorified social group that whittles itself down to only one or two people going back and forth then essentially fizzling out.

Yet again.

Disappointment ensues. Your subconscious abandonment issues secretly surface. And you’re stuck out of luck once more. Only now, you’re hoisting a much more intense sense of urgency fueled by a subtle anger to accelerate success on your own.

Then of course the cycle repeats unfortunately.

Another drawback to this kind of accountability approach is that the goals, desires, directives, and direction are lost in the endless scroll Skype thread.

Who in their right mind will go back, cut and paste, re-read what everyone wrote, then organize it into an actionable task list to then maneuver from?

Skype chats work for “chats” and I contend that they are somewhat ineffective for a legitimate accountability forum. If you disagree, that’s great. Go and take it up with your mother! jks

2. The Facebook Facade

Let’s be honest folks. When we post something on Facebook, there’s a part of us that wants a lot of people to engage with our piece of content. Whether its a regular thought post, a cute photo of Cujo the pet piggy, or a passion riddled Facebook live rant video, we subconsciously return to that post throughout the day to check and see who’s liked it, left a comment, etc.

Same approach when we’re in a Facebook group. We post. We engage. We check it every so often. We engage. We feel good about ourselves.

We do it again. There’s an element of personal achievement gained through this subtle feeling of “facebook fame” when we post.

THEN…

Then, there’s that “I’m going to proclaim my goals to the world (via Facebook) so they can hold me accountable” approach. This is actually consistent with conventional thought too.

When I tell a bunch of people, they’ll hold me to it. It becomes THE motivational factor to keep going. Yea right hahahaha!!!!

Derek Sivers, the founder of CDBaby and multi-millionaire investor, talks about this very phenomenon and how it’s actually counter-intuitive to publicly proclaim your goals.

Derek shares that repeated psychologists have reported on studies which hold fast to the notion that “telling someone your goals make it less likely to happen” He goes on to share that “anytime you have a goal, there is work that needs to be done in order to achieve it. Ideally, you would not be satisfied until you have actually done the work.

But, when you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that a social reality kicks in and the mind is tricked into feeling that the work has already been done. When you have felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.

With that in mind, you can’t help but wonder how many of those facebook engagement heavy posts have actually stalled progress for people. Share your goals, that’s fine. Just be mindful of the psychological effects and emotional triggers that will take place.

Once you share it, I recommend you get with a legitimate accountability partner who can run a very structured and contained program to keep you on point in a systematic and actionable manner. Feelings are fleeting. There will be ups and downs, much like your facebook posts.

Sometimes you post and no one cares, then other times you post and it’ll catch fire to generate a lot of interest. Be mindful of why you’re engaging in an accountability “group” and do it for the outcome not for the feeling it will bring you (like the adrenaline you felt when you just got started).

Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Flounder Under This “Modern Accountability” Model…

Because:

  • It is Hyper-Emotional
  • Too Many People Talking
  • Un-Structured

Let me break it down for you in bite size chunks.

Hyper-Emotional

You get all riled up once it starts, you jump into the relationship and then reality hits and the excitement dies down. What now? What next? Yup, you actually run off to get stuff done only to eventually circle back, find another group, a totally different set of people, repeat the cycle. You feel good, then you don’t, then you go somewhere else to feel good again, then you don’t once more. Rinse repeat. STOP IT!!! Get grounded, see things through and work through the valleys.

Too Many People Talking

Too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many chiefs. Too many digital marketing “experts”. And waaaay too many coaches carrying certificates who learned from so and so. The Kumbaya fest is awesome but seriously, call it something else if that’s the case. Someone must take the lead. Someone must run the gathering in an orderly manner. Structure breeds success.

Unstructured Groups

I’m sure you’ve heard of the networking business group BNI right? Business Networking International (BNI) is the brainchild of Ivan Misner who has done an incredible job at creating a networking group that thrives at helping business owners grow their business through referrals. Their meetings are extremely structured, as well as the expectations and operations of each chapter group.

The highly organized atmosphere allows for professionals to thrive and be successful because there’s a method to the madness. A lot of our “modern accountability” efforts are highly unstructured and simply consist of skype calls and facebook *que the sound of a cricket* groups that just gather and exchange air (ideas and small talk). Get some sustainable structure implemented and make it worth everyone’s time.

So What! Now What??

Seriously, how many accountability groups, mastermind groups, skype chats, slack channels are you a part of right now? Take a closer look at your motivation for joining, assess the viability of them in relation to your personal and professional transformation, and make some immediate decisions.

I would be remissed if I ended this post and NOT present you with an alternative to the “modern accountability” movement. And yes there is a much more viable option 🙂

It’s simple!

It looks like this:

  • Emotion-less protocol
  • Leaders leading
  • Highly structured (with a PLAN)

I know, IT’S SO SIMPLE!!!!

Please, don’t try to complicate things with unnecessary jargon and flare.

When constructed properly, a solid accountability group is truly a fluid and results-oriented experience.

If you adopt this 3-Step Actionable Accountability Model, you will find yourself soaring past the obstacles that have historically held you back.

Here’s how you can set up a 3-Step Actionable Accountability group today:

Step 1: Emotion-less Protocol

Set 3 very very VERY clear expectations.

Expectation #1: Set the TIME requirement and have reverence for it! Are you meeting once a week? Twice a week? Every other week? Once you decide on a time, then you religious stick to it. But more importantly, position that time within a frame of mind that can paint a picture of extreme significance to all involved. If you just casually say, “Ok buddy, let’s meet every Monday!!” and that’s it…then that sucks!!! “We are professionals, we have busy schedules, but we also have come to recognize our need to be held accountable by each other. I will commit to investing 50 minutes a week to encourage and engage with you. If I am not able to fulfill my commitment, I will withdraw from this endeavor and expect the same from you.” You see where I’m going with this right?

Which brings me to our second expectation.

Expectation #2: Get people to give an actual COMMITMENT! Sign something, get them to pay something, have folks put some “skin in the game” to feel the sense of impending consequence if they do not fulfill their responsibility to the group. This works very well with a contract. BUT it works a whole lot better with a FEE based approach. Think about it. You have clients right?

When you work with lead magnet, freebie clients, who jump in because of the free price tag, are they the ones who are rambo about their work with you? Or are the one’s who have paid you $2,500 more committed? Of course the folks who have invested ZERO obviously don’t value your initiative because they literally paid $0 🙂

Make sense??

Expectation #3: Be clear about the PROCESS and how things will work Let them know that it will be a Q & A session, therefore they need to submit their questions beforehand. If you decide to go with a topical format, then say so. If you decide to do a “basecamp” model, then say so and explain how it’ll work. My point is, whatever actionable model you choose…make sure you TELL THEM and FOLLOW IT. The more they know what to expect, the more clear and fluid your group will function.

Step 2: Leaders Leading

At this point, because you’ve set proper expectations ahead of time, my presupposition going into this step is that you would have already talked to people to let them know about how your group is running. In other words, YOU have initiated the “sales” process to your group.

Assuming there’s pre-existing content like a sales page, or an info page, or a simple detailed cut and paste introduction to what you’re trying to do in your group. Because that already exists, and you’ve already introduced people to the group, you’ve inherited the leadership for the group. And THAT is all you need to establish.

There must be a guide. A leader. A quarterback. THE person in charge.

Are you willing to take up the call to be the leader? If not, do you know of someone who can be that person to lead your group? If you’re too busy to take on the role of leading a group here’s a couple’s thoughts on how to identify a potential leader.

1. Someone who is already a leader. You can tell by the “fruit” of their labor. Meaning, you can tell by what he/she posts, how they encourage others, the advice they give, and what others are saying about them. They exude the aroma of leadership and its essentially undeniable.

2. Someone who is self-less and not self-promotional. If you find a person who is genuinely concerned about the well being of others (as evident in their engagement with others) you’ve got a great candidate. Every leader has to market and promote, but there’s a way to do so without being as aggressive as the timeshare or car salesperson. (no disrespect) This leader type will more than likely have others promote them naturally not because they paid them but mainly because the value they’ve given, compelling others to speak of their brilliance. Chances are, you already know folks like this in your various groups.

Approach them with a plan and see where it goes. As long as you have THAT person and they set the expectations ahead of time, you’ll be in good shape.

Step 3: Highly structured (with a PLAN)

I mentioned the “basecamp” model above. All that means is there is a contained and structured environment where engagement takes place. But it is contained to each individual so that they get the direct one-to-one challenge and custom attention needed to push forward. But moreso, they receive the meaningful personal attention we all starve for. This is where our “tools and platforms” come into play.

When you can issue containment and structure along with a plan, it becomes a much more actionable and results producing initiative because of the direct attention being given. How would you feel if someone gave you custom and specific attention to your problems?

When you see a therapist, do you see them with a host of other people or do you see them alone? (Of course there are group “meetings” for therapy, but in what venue will you be able to feel more safe to share more, and eventually feel more accomplished??) Use a tool that will give you the chance to foster direct attention and support.

Why do you think Zendesk, Freshdesk, HelpScout, etc exist? It makes for a more smoother “help desk” experience to pinpoint EACH AND EVERY “help” request needed, even though they get a kabillion help requests a day.

What’s your next move?

How are you feeling after you’ve read what you’ve read? Does any of it make sense? Agree or disagree? My sincere desire is that you can move beyond your current state of whatever you’re in, and experience success immediately! Small Wins = Big Outcomes

If you’re in a “modern accountability” venue and it’s not producing the satisfaction you were hoping for, then you may want to take the lead and run it like an “Actionable Accountability” group instead. Take what you’ve learned here and implement it.

If you don’t want the responsibility of running a structured Actionable Accountability group, reach out to me and we can talk. We’ll figure out what you need best and point you in the right direction.

PS…

Read this for breakfast (lunch & dinner if necessary): https://missiondrivenbrand.com/how-to-build-an-effective-team/

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