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How accountable are you?

Do You Really Need An Accountability Partner?

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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Do You Really Need An Accountability Partner?

Do You Really Need An Accountability Partner?

Goal-setting, in itself, can be an individual process. It is a reflection of the things you have done and also a vision of the things you want to do. Goal setting is an energetic process that can catapult your life forward.

It may seem counter-intuitive to share these goals with someone else, but there is tremendous power in doing so!

Research by Ohio State University backs the argument that sharing your goals with someone else is effective BUT it has to be with someone ‘whose opinion your respect or higher in status is important. This means you careful selection is required.

In this instance, it may mean sharing it with people in the following positions: 

Accountability quick images

Discover your Accountability Score and increase the probability of smashing your GOALS and Getting Sh!t Done!

Accountability Partner and Your Buddy

Accountability, without a doubt, increase your motivation levels and ability to focus. You are starting to hear more about Accountability Partners, also known as Accountability Buddy, because they really make a difference in how entrepreneurs, executives and the broader business community achieve their goals.

Let’s face it, most of us will do pretty much anything to achieve our goals.

While self-motivation is vital, extra motivation, support, assistance and sage advice from an Accountability Partner will act as a catalyst for reaching your goals. The catalytic reaction to positive reinforcement by an Accountability Partner is truly beneficial and should never be taken for granted.

It is important, however, how you choose your Accountability Partner.
Before you consider this, you should look at the following criteria.

Your Accountability Partner should be:

1. Someone who’s been there before

This is someone that you can look up to and respect. Someone who has already achieved what you want to achieve. As I like to say, they ‘walk the talk’ and have successfully traversed the path already, which is the same entrepreneurial path you are looking to travel.

Having either a university degree, or similar industry or businesses experience is in my opinion, is NOT essential nor is it not a mandatory requirement.

Certainly, having a successful track-record themselves of entrepreneurial success and yes even its failures, can mean they typically would have a playbook that is filled with strategy and tips, underpinned by an arsenal of experience that your business can surely benefit from.

You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel, and a person with a degree isn’t always your solution.

2. Someone not emotionally connected to your world

You need to find a person who comes across with a neutral approach to helping you – this is why that choosing a friend, family member, or a close acquaintance does not work out well and it always ends. Because there is already an emotional connection underpinning your relationship this means they cannot have those difficult and hard questions with you when it’s needed.

It’s counterintuitive to your existing relationship and it’s really hard to separate your private relationship from business. And business is business, where clear thinking is required. Any conflict of interests and protecting feelings causes more damage it inhibits leadership and strategy.

3. Someone that understands that failure is normal

This may seem a little weird, but I’ve been quoted as saying; ‘we are not judged by the amount of times you succeed, but rather, by the amount of time you fail and keep trying’ remember Mr. Turnbull said that to me in the 1980’s I shared that with you in past chapters.

As I see it, if you don’t fail at some time during your entrepreneurial journey, then I’d be questioning whether or not you are truly pushing yourself hard enough. Then I say you not stretching yourself high enough. If you are NOT biting off a massive goal or task, and learning to sort if out on the fly, getting it done by chewing like hell. 

Then ask yourself ‘are the goals you are setting high enough?
Do you set goals which force you to stretch? If not, then you need set tougher ones.

C’mon, it’s time to be honest with yourself, otherwise who are you really impressing?

4. Someone relatable, and that makes you feel safe

It’s key that you both you, and your Accountability Partner, have a chemistry and that enables you to work together.

Feeling that you are in safe hands, is really critical for you to both speak frankly, honestly and critically as this is critical. Feeling safe in this situation encourages open discussion which is how you will get the bet from each other.

5. Someone professional

Professionalism is critical to ensure both parties do not waste valuable time and get things done efficiently. At the commencement of your program with your Accountability Partner you should to sign a formal Rules of Engagement (Service Agreement) that covers each parties responsibility and how the program works.

In this document, should also be a Non-Disclosure Agreement for both parties (your Accountability Partner and the client) to sign. Check your Accountability Partners references, call the client directly to find out more and ask about the experience and outcomes achieved.

Working with someone you know personally.

I’ve seen many people try unsuccessfully to partner with others such as friends and family members, all to no-avail. Often the result is a waste of time, which costs you money and reputation. In fact, I’ve gained clients who wish to engage me privately to work with them one-on-one, as a result of failed accountability partner relationships with others.

This often occurs when someone has committed themselves to their partner, maybe their spouse who also works in the business with them. Whilst the intention is genuine, the execution doesn’t work because your you are both too close to each other, too emotionally connect and mostly unable to engage in truly honest and sometimes (always) challenging conversations about your work ethic, which is painful not to take that on personally from your spouse.

Perhaps, you are not meeting your obligations, you are not hitting your goals, you regularly let others down because you are not keeping the promises you make to others and most importantly the promises you have given to yourself.

All this results in pissing off those people around you that are important and those people close you that care and love you. This is crucial for building successful companies.  I suspect there will always be those who think they can do it better. Be careful and choose wisely.

What Is An Accountability Partner?

An accountability partner can be anyone you trust and respect: a sibling, a colleague, a friend, or even a new acquaintance. As long as your goals and their objectives are the same, you can make anyone your potential accountability partner.

An accountability partner doesn’t have to be someone from your family. On the contrary, many experts suggest that it can be hard to stay on track when you have a family member as an accountability partner.

Most experts suggest getting help from a colleague, friend, or acquaintance with whom you have cordial relations to be your accountability partner.

How Can An Accountability Partner Help?

An accountability partner can benefit your accountability journey in several ways.

For starters, they can help you keep an eye on your progress and keep sight of your plans. By reminding you of the goals you are working towards, your accountability partner can be a source of great motivation.

And in times when you feel down and unable to continue, they can give you a kind ear to listen and help you work through whatever is holding you back.

Your accountability partner will be the person who moderates and enables you to take better steps in your accountability journey.

START DELIVERING WHAT YOU PROMISE, and get your team to do the same.

Do you meet the obligations, promises, goals and commitments made to yourself and others? An accountability coach, advisor and mentor can help.

A study* in the USA was undertaken and found out that the probability of completing a goal is:

  • 10% – If you have an actual idea or goal.
  • 25% – If you consciously decide you will do it.
  • 40% – If you decide when you will do it.
  • 50% – If you plan how you will do it.
  • 65% – If you commit to someone, you will do it.
  • 95% – If you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to.

After reading this, how likely are you to achieve your; goals, promises, obligations and commitments alone?

Do You Need An Accountability Partner?

Or course you do, just look at the stats and facts above. It’s game-changing those numbers and it’s like unlocking the secret code. Follow the steps, implement and execute and you can hit your goals. Suppose you feel that you are unable to make progress on your own or think that you would like to share your fantastic accountability journey and its fruits with someone just for the company and motivation. In that case, it may be best for you to start looking for an accountability partner.

On our blog, we have detailed many points and steps to consider when choosing an accountability partner, and a quick read will get you well equipped to filter out the potential candidates for the role and settle on the best choice for your needs.


We understand that ensuring accountability is not always easy. That is why many of us can benefit from the insight and help of an accountability partner to nudge us along in the right direction. Please read up on the other blog posts we offer about accountability partners to make an informed decision when the time comes to make a selection.