Who is holding you accountable?


Reinventing performance management strategies has gained much attention in recent years. Some feel that existing practices are outdated, while others believe that performance management practices have just been used incorrectly.

Regardless of where you sit on the issue, the fact remains that if we are not accountable to any one person, goal, or objective, deadlines will go adrift, and people and teams will have difficulty living up to their potential.

I often hear people say they hold themselves accountable, which is commendable. However, when this is our only method of accountability, we can end up unmotivated, discouraged and can ultimately lose interest in our end goals. When you are attempting to improve your accountability, try using these strategies:


  • I am still amazed by the attention coaching receives in the professional world. When I was competing as a high-performance athlete, I never thought much of the “term” coach. I just knew good coaches were an essential part of an athlete’s success.
  • Coaching skills are becoming commonplace in management training programs, which is great to see. In fact, the best manager an employee could hope for is one who has an aptitude for coaching, and it is something I am starting to witness more frequently in progressive organizations. If you are fortunate enough to be working for someone with this skill set, use them to help you improve your performance as you strive to accomplish your goals.


  • Great mentors have a unique way of keeping us accountable. Through regular discussion and insights from a good mentor, you will soon learn what you need to adjust or remove in order to achieve your goals.
  • Mentors come in all shapes and sizes, so be open to mentorship, no matter where it comes from. I learned years ago (when traveling for business) to sit next to someone who is 20 to 30 years older than me, and strike up a casual conversation. You will be surprised at how much “life” knowledge these people have, and how their experiences can help shape your skills and abilities while keeping you accountable.

Trusted Friend

  • I typically do not recommend that people tell the world about their goals and intentions. Doing so creates uncomplimentary pressure and in some cases, negative energy, which can slow your progress. Instead, confide in a close friend; this ensures that you have someone in your inner circle to hold you accountable.
  • When sharing your goals with a close friend, you will have a person to confide in when setbacks and challenges occur. And believe me, if your goals are worth achieving, you will certainly encounter many challenges along the way.
    Accountability can be challenging at times. Try these strategies, and keeping yourself accountable will become second nature.

All the best in achieving your highest performance.


Originally published by the International Society for Performance Improvement

Image courtesy of pal2iyawit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net