Phillip assembled his sales team. They promised to meet to look over their schedules for the following week. Two had substantial clutter on a spreadsheet looking paper. Others had something tucked away inside a folder, a corner peeking out, but nothing available for casual inspection.
“Phillip tells me, you all decided to make some changes with the way the sales team goes to market,” I started. “I am very interested to hear about your plans.”
There was shuffling of bodies around in chairs, everyone trying to get comfortable with this new accountability.
“I see some schedules for next week,” I continued. “Let’s get the cards out on the table.” Everyone looked to their left and then to their right, some schedules appeared, then more, then all. Some were full of chicken scratch, some were sparse.
I asked Phillip to explain, again, the purpose of the meeting, the purpose of the schedules, the purpose of this change of habit. We went around the circle, each explaining their schedule.
“Here is the secret to accountability,” I said. “And, if you don’t do this, the likelihood for success is slim.
“Many people think that accountability is noble and that nobility will sustain it. Others think that if they don’t take accountability seriously, they will feel guilty and the guilt will sustain accountability. Neither of those thoughts work.
“The only thing that sustains accountability is to gather those people around you who will not let you off the hook, who will hold you accountable for what you promise to each other. It is the team that will sustain you through those times when you want to quit, or when you feel lazy.
“So, look around the table, my friends. This is the team that will help you to the next level. You just have to give them permission to hold you accountable.” -Tom