Mountain Lesson No. 38


Accountability is only torture if you don’t benefit from it.

Working with a lot of clients around getting things done, one of the most common requests is for accountability—to be held accountable. Business owners, solopreneurs, CEOs, managers, etc often struggle with getting stuff done because there is a lack of accountability. Working from home alone, or feeling lonely at the board table with nobody to safely confide in. I bet this has a lot to do with why so many businesses fail–the owners fail to be held accountable.

A lack of accountability breeds procrastination.

Why don’t we do things that we know we need to do or are told we need to do. Perhaps the problem is that we don’t understand clearly the benefit yet and therefore we see the task as torture. We don’t really know why we are doing what we’re doing, and perhaps aren’t confident it will bear fruit. Our little voice kicks in and comes up with a myriad of reasons why we can’t do it, don’t want to do it, didn’t have time to do it, just didn’t feel like it.

Doing something always seems to ‘hurt’ more when we don’t really understand if there is a benefit, or if we don’t value the benefit. There must be a purpose and a desire to achieve an outcome or goal. A good exercise plan, coupled with discipline and accountability, will help you to look and feel great–if you stick to it. A good business plan will help you move your business idea forward–if you stick to it and do what needs to be done.

Purpose and passion will get you a long way when battling with procrastination and lack of motivation, and accountability will hold your feet to the fire and keep you moving forward. So will a clear vision and an objective. Begin with the end in mind, as Steven Covey says. Covey is also famous for saying “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Don’t get distracted.

Make sure you start with a very clear benefit and objective and keep that in mind when you’re dragging your ass through the trenches, back to your desk to keep working or up Mount Lofty in the rain, wondering why you’re not sitting in front of the heater watching a renovation show.

Find somebody who can keep you accountable and give them permission to coach you and hold you to your plan.

Image by @alexanderredl from