Being the boss has its perks. You get to make your own hours, choose your own projects, and don't have to answer to anyone. In theory, this sounds nice-- but the reality is usually far from it. Often, it's easy to procrastinate or come up with excuses because you only have to answer to yourself.
Having someone to hold you accountable and keep you honest can play a huge role in how fast your company can grow. I would know-- it's what I focus on as a business coach. So whether you choose to find a business coach, work with someone outside of your business in your peer group, or join a business leader group, having an accountability buddy should be high on your priority list. Here's why:
1. You need consequences.
As the boss or manager, you can get away with a lot of missed deadlines and half-done projects. Those that work for you typically aren't going to tell you when you mess up or don't do something that you promised. This can not only slow down the growth of your business but can really affect company morale over time.
Having an accountability buddy, outside of your company can make a huge difference in how you get tasks done and how you are perceived by your staff. Each time you meet, make it a priority to go over your to-do list and get updates on the progress you have made since you last met. If you haven't reached your goal, be prepared to tell them why and be held accountable for missing that deadline.
2. You need help focusing.
As a leader, it's your job to come up with good ideas and be able to respond to shifts in the market swiftly and efficiently. But the same skill that makes you a quick responder can lead you down a path of distraction and wasted time and energy if not properly harnessed.
Having an accountability partner can help you find the things that you should be focusing on for your business, and allow you to filter out the distractions. When you meet, go over your focus items and discuss what you have done to reach your goals. If you get distracted by a side project and fail to meet a deadline, you will have to be able to defend your actions to a third party. If you can't make a good argument as to why you pivoted, it might be a good indication that you are going down the wrong path and it's time for a course correction.
3. You need someone to model good behavior.
Your behaviors affect everyone in your business. If you make a promise that you fail to keep, others in the office take notice, even if they don't say something to you. Having an accountability buddy will help you learn how to model good behavior for your own staff and key team members. Your staff will notice your focus and follow-through and start making it a priority in their work as well.
4. You need someone to believe in you.
The last reason you need an accountability buddy is to have someone cheering you on. Being an entrepreneur is a lonely profession, and it can be difficult at times to recognize and celebrate your successes.
If you have an accountability buddy, they will be the first one to take notice when you fulfill your promises. When you meet a goal or tackle a difficult project, they will be there with you to see it through to the end and celebrate your successes and work through the challenges. And in doing so, drive you to do more because we naturally want to meet or exceed the expectations of our biggest fans. Which in and of itself is reason enough for an accountability buddy.