Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Power of Accountability

Yesterday, we had our first Truth At Work roundtable meeting in Toledo. It was incredible! In this group we have 10 executives who want to grow their businesses and grow in their walk with Christ.

We meet for four hours once per month and each member pays a fee to be a part of this group so this is a major commitment. Part of our time together was spent in telling everyone what our one personal and business goal was for the month...that one thing we absolutely want to get done this month at home and at work.

As we went around the room, it was cool to see what each person was saying. Some said they wanted to go on a date or two with their spouse. Others wanted to exercise 6 times per week for 30 minutes. Some wanted to have some tough conversations with an employee that they had been putting off. All lofty goals.

Here is where this is a little different. At the end of that time, we told each of them that if they don't accomplish their goal before our next meeting, they will need to pay $100 into our "giving fund" (will be given away to worthy causes periodically). Let me ask you this. Do you think each of their goals are more likely to be done knowing they are truly being held accountable? Of course they will!

So why is this important? Because most of us need accountability to change.

I recently read in Fast Company Magazine titled Change or Die. In the article they cited a study in which patients with severely clogged arteries were told they needed to change their diet and begin exercising or they would die soon. Seems like pretty good motivation right? Not so.

According to studies, only 1 in 10 (10%) of those told this news did anything about it. Can you imagine that? Being told you are going to die unless you change and yet still not changing. We all fall into this.

However, they did a study with 333 patients and they put them into a group that helped to support them and hold them accountable. You know what happened? 77% of the participants changed their eating and exercise habits!

That is the power of accountability. If you truly want change to happen, find a way to be held accountable!


Real Live Preacher said...

Wow, what a clever idea. Sounds like the sort of thing some smart business people would come up with. That kind of accountability works VERY well, as long as it is voluntary, which it is in your case.

Jim Lange said...

Thanks for checking in Gordon! You are right, this type of accountability does work very well. I can't wait to see the results next month!