I came across an interesting post on LinkedIn, and my first reaction as amplified by others too on that post was ‘it’s so true’ (check the pic). Coaching and consulting leaders over the past decade, I have observed that people who are consistently successful in whatever they do, invested in their curiosity by passionately rummaging information and seeking knowledge so that they make informed decisions.
Most of the time, these people hit jackpot with an innovative idea, thought and process. They made investments on themselves by taking out time from their schedule by reading that Harvard research, by speaking to a learned person, by taking a subscription to the best periodicals or signing up for a course.
Taking ownership for our own self is extremely important and it is ratified via our board member Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Prakashan Ltd, Director – Midday and MBL, Author and LinkedIn Top Voice 2020 via this candid ‘Ted Talk‘. She says, Life is not about holding the grain of life in your fist and not letting it pass because it worked before. It’s all about 1) mentally winning it in your mind first, 2) accepting responsibility by being accountable for one’s own actions and 3) constantly being under the spotlight so that one continuously show cases the best version of themselves.
Accountability also gives us the perspective to be true to the choices that we make. Recently an aspiring coachee who had signed up to be coached, backed out at the last minute. I was intrigued as she was the one who had reached out to me and was excitedly looking forward to starting the sessions. So what happened that she took a decision of choice and then backed out? On cajoling, I was given to understand that she had spoken to her organization on sponsoring this coaching but the management backed out at the last minute. On her own, she was unwilling to invest at that point of time. A choice that she had made. My first instinct was why not give her the sessions pro-bono. I have done it before and I could do again. But I stepped back to reflect on the accountability to myself.
My purpose to help leaders navigate their success, comes out of investment of my time in people, deeper understanding of human behaviour and my experiences around coaching. I continuously put myself in the spotlight because I believe in myself, and my impact on others via my coaching interventions. I was not ready to dilute that accountability and devalue myself. I would have loved it, if the lady negotiated with me on her dilemmas and had checked if it were doable? There could have been a myriad of solutions, staggered payments, rechecking with organization and influencers etc. Maybe speaking out what she wanted, being assertive on her needs, and managing stakeholders is what she needed, and a coach needed to support her on that. But her lack of accountability on making a visible difference to herself is what held me back, and that’s the worthiness quotient that I judged her on.
So that gets back me to the point on how invested are we in our self-development? We have the freedom of choice to buy something tangible at a click of a button but have loads of hesitation in picking up the intangibles. We do not think twice to invest in that new jacket or saree cause of a wedding in the family but debate on signing up on that online course.
Our attitude towards our own accountability will give us the answer.