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Accountability is another way to ensure that you are making the most out of your personal business development strategy. In this article, I discuss three different techniques that you can employ to create accountability.

Mastering the Art of Business Development Blog Series
Article 12: Accountability

In my recent series of articles, we’ve been working on developing our own Personal Business Development Plans.  A personal plan is like a roadmap, and having one makes it much easier to conduct business development in a way that is meaningful, enjoyable and ultimately, successful. As you may recall, the final step in creating a personal business development plan is to set up a system for tracking your progress and goals. However, there is an additional tool that can help ensure that you are able to get the best results out of your plan:  accountability.

A good analogy is a dieter. People go on diets all the time. Some go to a group like Jenny Craig, others see a private nutritionist, and others buy a book or read up online. In most cases, these people start out with a plan. So what is the difference between those who succeed and those who fail? Some of it is certainly about will-power, but another big factor is accountability. When dieters are held accountable for whether or not they stick to their plan, they tend to see better results. Accountability in this situation may take its form in having to report to other people, or to the motivation created by virtue of a financial investment.

Like a dieter, you might start out with a great Personal Business Development Plan.  But if you don’t stick to the action items and time budget that you’ve created, then it isn’t worth much. Additionally, sometimes these plans may need to be altered based on circumstances and also based on trial and error. If something isn’t working you likely need to adjust it.

So how do you create accountability in business development?  Here are three tools you can use:

  1. Hire a personal business development coach: Why do people use personal trainers instead of just going to the gym? Firstly, they get a more tailored approach to their personal needs. And secondly, it’s a lot harder to skip a session that you’ve paid for, whereas if you simply have a membership to a gym there is no penalty for deciding to stay in bed or head to happy hour instead of pumping some iron.  It’s the same with personal business development coaches.  A coach can help you create your personal plan, including identifying things that perhaps you wouldn’t see on your own. And because you are committed to paying for sessions (or at least to showing up since it is one on one), you will be more motivated to make progress between meetings.
  2. Establish a “chavrusa”: Chavrusa comes from a Hebrew word which means a learning partner. Your chavrusa should consist of you and one other person who is also working on improving his or her business development skills. Your partner should be a peer, but not a competitor. For example, a corporate lawyer and an accountant would make a good team because they both understand the subject matter of each other’s professions, but are not in direct competition. The most important thing is that you meet consistently and that you hold each other accountable. When you meet, in addition to discussing new action items or contacts that you might add to your personal plan, you must go over your existing goals and action items and explain your progress (or lack thereof) to your partner. Even though there is no punishment for failing to deliver on an action item, your chavrusa will psychologically motivate you to accomplish your goals because it creates a sense of accountability not just to yourself, but to another person.
  3. Joining a mastermind group: A concept created by Napoleon Hill 100 years ago in a book called “Think Big and Grow Rich”, a mastermind groups offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills. It helps you and your mastermind group members achieve success. Participants challenge each other to set powerful goals, and more importantly, to accomplish them. You can create your own mastermind group, or you can reach out to us at Opus Connect and we can try to place you in one that is appropriate and meets your needs.

To sum this up, accountability is an important factor in the success of your ability to implement your Personal Business Development Plan and achieve maximum results. We’ve discussed three tools you can employ to create accountability. I would suggest that you use at least one of these, if not more.

Lou Sokolovskiy
Founder/CEO, Opus Connect

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