Accountability & Action: The Key to Success

Accountability & Action: The Key to Success

As you know, I am a big fan of setting clear and specific SMART goals. Yet what use are goals without action?

Action is the stuff that dreams are made of. Of course you need to know what you want and the steps involved. Then you need to take the first step… and then the second step and keep on stepping till you get there.

Action can be difficult at times. It  can be challenging to keep up your momentum after a long time or with a goal that is a very big change for you. This is where accountability comes in.

There was a study done in the 1920’s that shows the effects of accountability on performance. A psychologist came into an electrical plant to study the effect of light conditions on the workers’ productivity. In the first trial he increased the lighting and productivity rose, he then brought in more lighting and in each test the productivity rose, he was about to conclude that higher light levels do improve productivity, when he turned off all the extra lights and productivity rose again, he then lowered the light to well below what it was in the beginning and it rose again.  He did not understand what was happening until he found out from a worker that they were told an efficiency expert was testing them.

The workers were working more efficiently because they knew they were being monitored and tested. This has come to be known as the Hawthorne effect, after the name of the factory.

A modern example of the Hawthorne effect is how much more cautiously you drive when being followed by a policeman, or how much better you eat, when you’re keeping a food diary.

Simply the act of being accountable to someone for your actions improves performance time and again. This is one reason why having a training buddy or personal trainer who you work out with will improve your performance. If you don’t show up, someone is going to be calling you. Think about how you can make yourself accountable to someone for an action that you are finding challenging.

Coaching is a great way of fast-tracking change because you have an expert to help you make the change and to keep you accountable to maintain it.

Who can you become accountable to for your lifestyle change?

Who could you keep accountable to help them make a change?

For greater success and faster results pair up with a buddy and keep each other accountable to your goals and actions!

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