Can accountability be passive?

| Jan 1, 2022

SAGE Leaders have created a habit of telling stories, sharing their ideas, and selling them. All of this sharing and telling amounts to what I call Passive Accountability. If you want to increase your chances of success, start with Passive Accountability. 

In 2015, I began writing a book called LifeMap – Building A Future When You’re Lost In The Present. It took about six months to write the book and another six to get it published on Amazon. To go from never written to published required new processes, systems, and accountability. 

What are you excited about in your life that you want to share with others?

Passive accountability is about sharing your dream with others. It’s selling your dream to them and to yourself. In my case, it was telling people that I wanted to write the book. 

I first started with my wife, then the president of Alpha Academy (the heart of the book), then several friends and family members. By the time I had written the first few chapters, I’d told at least 30 people. What I told them wasn’t simply that I wanted to write a book but that I had a dream of helping thousands of people get their lives on track through creating their LifeMap. 

Then the magic came. After telling so many people about my intentions, several people asked me how things were going, offered support, and encouraged me. I HAD to write the LifeMap book because I didn’t want to let all these people down. 

This “Passive” Accountability habit can serve you well in so many ways. All you are doing is sharing a story about the ideal future you want to create. So I shared the story behind wanting to write a book. Sharing your story behind the goal or dream with others is key to passive accountability. 

People care more when you share your stories and dreams with them. They tune in and want to know what will happen. People do care about what you are doing. At least, the right people do. Then in some cases, they will follow up with you and ask how things are going with your goal. They want to know the rest of your story. In fact, many will want to be part of your story and help you in some way or another without you even directly asking. 

This is why accountability is passive. Friends bring it up in passing. They bring it up because they care and want to help you. The result is accountability and potential feedback on your work toward achieving this dream you have. It’s simple and effective.

But it is only one part of this fantastic process. What goal, dream, or vision do you have? Who can you share it with? Whatever it is, solidify in your mind the story behind this goal. What is the deeper connection you have with the goal?

  • If you want to take a vacation, why?
  • If you want to double your business income, why?
  • If you want to serve a new market, why?

Recently I spoke with a client who has traveled much in his life and would like to visit other areas of the country. During his upbringing, his family didn’t have a lot of money so for him to leave the country or do an extended summer road trip would have a lot of meaning. 

I met with a financial advisor recently who wanted to significantly increase business revenue but the reason behind this wasn’t what you might expect. He wanted to have more time and financial freedom to serve the homeless in his area.

I would love to work with pet resort business owners; , this is not a market I’ve pursued before. I have a significant history in this area and helping pet resorts would have a lot more meaning to me than some other markets. Plus, I may one day pursue the path of opening my own resort! 

Regardless of the goal, find the why. Spend time thinking about the reasons behind your goals and what achieving them would mean for you. 

Stop reading right now and make a list of 20 people you can tell about this goal that you want to achieve and then write down the why. Twenty might sound like a lot, but it’s easier than you think to spread the word. Storytelling is done best in-person or over the phone. Make sure to use one of these methods when you tell people what you’re up to in your business.

Your next step in creating uncommon accountability is actively enlisting people to support you on your journey. 

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