Accountability - A Cross Country Story
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12TH, 2008
“That was the hardest practice ever!” my 13 year old son professed as we sat down to dinner. I asked him about the practice and the various drills and exercises they had done. He mentioned that they hadn’t even done any running that day, and yet it was the most physically demanding practice he had ever been through.
Josh went through the exercises he had done, some of which I had never heard of. “Wall-Sits” where they sit against the wall holding their bodies up with their legs in a sitting position for 5 minutes. “Planks” which are similar to push-ups holding their weight up with both arms and then just with one. Of course there were the usual crunches, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. It was an endless variety that many would call torture, yet while my son may not have enjoyed it, he appreciated it. You could feel his pride in having been able to endure and maybe even thrive in the challenge it offered. He was stimulated and excited by what he had achieved. The statement he made to me that struck a nerve was, “There’s no way anyone of us would have endured or done that if the coach wasn’t there pushing us!”
We all have things we know we need to do but don’t. We end up making excuses, procrastinating and not getting the most important and urgent issues and priorities done. [What Stephen Covey calls Quadrant 4.] Our potential is thus limited by our lack of commitment and maybe even our lack of faith or belief in ourselves.
Our role as coaches is to make you accountable. We’ve discussed this previously that the reason most business owners go into business is for independence and freedom. Most small business owners never get beyond 10 employees. Why? Because they don’t want all that responsibility. Even one or two employees is well beyond what some owners can endure. They are afraid they won’t be able to control others, and thus the business is restrained from growth. That’s not to say growing beyond one or two employees isn’t a major accomplishment, because it is. Only .4% of US companies ever get over $10 Million in sales.
The question here is how big do you wish to grow? How large is your dream? If you have extraordinary motivation, commitment and determination the one missing ingredient may be accountability. This is where the counter-intuitiveness of business becomes evident. We want a business that will provide us with the freedom and independence to do whatever we want, yet in order to achieve it you have to develop structure, discipline, systems and routines that all but eliminate the freedom and independence you so desperately want. No wonder so few achieve their dreams.
Coaches play a significant role in athletes and business achievement. The very best in athletics and business have coaches. If your goal is to become the very best in your field, to build your business to provide you with the independence and freedom personally and financially, perhaps it’s time you got serious, hired a coach to make you accountable to reaching you and your businesses potential.
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