Real Accountability Requires Action

| Feb 1, 2022

Yes, it requires action but not the actions you may be thinking. 

I have a friend named Shawn (not his real name) who came into the Alpha Academy program while I was a leader there. He came in very broken and struggling with life. A schizophrenic mom, abuse, and a history of drug addiction made his life rather challenging. 

When Shawn came into the program, he had some excellent skills. He was a welder, mechanic, and a handyman too. His path was to get off drugs, attend college, and have a “normal” life. This path was his LifeMap

I still remember his glassy-eyed look when I first met him and how he would disappear into some other place in the middle of a conversation. It was like his operating system would freeze from time to time. 

After months of being in the program and having daily conversations and accountability, he started to change a bit. The effects of the drugs were wearing off too. 

Even amidst all of this, we could see Shawn was a brilliant man. His mechanical aptitude shone. His curiosity and hardworking nature stood out too. He always wanted and needed people to be there to bounce ideas off and to support him. 

During the program, he started going to a community college, and after he left the program, he was able to find a job welding. He was such a talented welder that he came in second in a national welding event in Hawaii.

Eventually, he would come back to the program as a leader, mechanic for the vehicles, and handyman. Throughout the whole experience at Alpha Academy, he would meet every week with one of 4 people and sometimes more than one of us in a week. 

During these purposeful conversations, the Active Accountability Habit kept him on track more than he could have on his own. With our active help, when he would deviate, we would let him know the check engine light was on and often he would get back to his plan. 

Eventually, he fell in love with a woman, found work at a refinery, bought a house, and married. Still, throughout this process, Shawn would reach out to us and connect at least once or twice a month. 

Without the program and the continued support, Shawn has told me he wouldn’t be where he is now. It’s a story of the power of accountability and commitment. 

There were hiccups on the way, but because of the consistent phone calls, lunches, and purposeful support Shawn received, he overcame many challenges. 

Shawn’s story exemplifies what I call Active Accountability, the ‘A’ in the Accountability PASS. 

How You Can Start Using Active Accountability

Active Accountability is simply purposefully asking 2-3 people in your life or business context to connect with you weekly or biweekly to discuss your progress toward your goals. Active Accountability is not a new model and is consistently used in AA, churches, and other contexts. But it works for the growth of your leadership too. 

Here’s how you can do it. Write down a list of 3-5 people you really trust and who you know care deeply about you. Then reach out to them and ask them individually if they can meet with you twice a month to discuss your growth as a leader and whatever other goals you may have. 

In return, offer the same Active Accountability to them. Take all the steps described in the previous chapter about SMART goals. This one action bumps you to that 95% success rate. But you have to commit and be consistent. More on the habit of commitment later. 

I’ve used this approach to write the LifeMap book, start SAGE Mindset Coaching, create an App, keep my business open during a pandemic, and build a marriage! 

How can you use the power of Active Accountability?

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