An accountability partner or accountability buddy in business is a business peer whose job it is to help you grow your business by providing guidance and holding you accountable to the commitments that you agree and make. They are there to not a allow you to fail to do something that you have committed to.
>[pullquote align=”right” cite=”Read More” link=”http://theentrepreneurway.com/quotes/mentor-quotes/” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Recognize the skills and traits you don’t possess, and hire the people who have them.” – Warren Bennis, the mentor to Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks[/pullquote]
Whilst it is similar to having a mentor usually the difference is that each partner holds each other accountable to the commitments that they make. Both accountability partners want to make their own business better and by holding each other accountable they provide support and feedback and they make sure that their partner does what they commit to. Also an accountability buddy is someone who you can celebrate your successes with when you achieve your goals.
Having an accountability partner also provides each partner with a sounding board to bounce ideas off and to analyse and plan them. The advantage that entrepreneurs with small businesses have is that they have dexterity to be able to act quickly when they see a new opportunity. However sometimes these ‘opportunities’ may be a false dawn and acting too quickly could result in a costly mistake.
There is a tendency for entrepreneurs to sometimes not spend enough time planning their next move – in effect they go ready-fire-aim. When entrepreneurs have an accountability partner they can evaluate ideas and highlight weaknesses and potential difficulties. They can also help to make plans that the entrepreneur is then held accountable to.
In order to be successful it is important to have the right accountability partner to maximise the relationship. Below are 8 tips for finding the right accountability partner:
- Be clear about what your expectations and what you want and need from an accountability buddy.
- Decide on a time frame or target date by which you want to see results
- Be clear about what you are looking for in an accountability partner prior to looking for one. You need to find someone who has similar core values to you to ensure a good quality accountability partnership.
- Choose an accountability partner who you respect to give you impartial feedback.
- Don’t use a friend – You need honest and objective feedback from someone who is not concerned about telling you things that you don’t want to hear.
- Look outside of your industry – working with someone in another sector will provide a fresh perspective and new ideas for each of you.
- Agree a plan with your accountability partner about the level and frequency of accountability you each want. Make sure that you stick to the plan and be on time to the arranged meetings. Also work consistently towards your goals so you create an environment where each of you vying to outperform the other in terms of doing what you agreed.
- Periodically review the relationship that you agree to with your accountability buddy. This should be done every quarter, six months or annually or when it is clear that it is not working or it needs adjusting.
What if you can’t find anyone who is suitable as an accountability partner?[pullquote align=”full” cite=”Read More Mentor Quotes” link=”http://theentrepreneurway.com/quotes/mentor-quotes/” color=”” class=”” size=””]“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” – Steve Jobs[/pullquote]