How do you stay accountable for your goals? I've been thinking about my own goals this week and in order to understand why I’ve stalled in my goals, I spent some time looking backwards. I reflected on my previous success and how I'd achieved my past goals. Two things stood out. First, I had a plan. Second, I had accountability.
Over the years I've found different ways to be held accountable, from sharing a goal on social media all the way through to 1:1 coaching and mentoring. For me, the most effective way to be accountable for my goals was to join a mastermind/group coaching programme.
I have done a fair amount of group coaching, both as a facilitator and as a participant. Group coaching gives me a buzz. I have attended group coaching sessions where we have worked through a programme and those where we just turn up and discuss whatever is important to us at the time. Often you don’t even know what you’re going to say until you start talking - those are the most insightful conversations!
What is a Mastermind?
A mastermind is a group of individuals who share a common goal: working together to contribute their individual skills to help the group members succeed. In the context of your career, a mastermind is a group of people at a similar level of responsibility, dedicated to helping each other with their career goals.
A mastermind is like a really involved advisory board that provides mentorship, accountability, and sometimes a kick in the bum! It’s like having a group of career-focused besties who know you and your career goals extremely well. They are people who trust each other to point out their blind spots and give honest feedback in an open and supportive environment.
I think it would be useful to say that there’s a slight difference between a mastermind and a group coaching programme - a mastermind in its purest form has no agenda or guided sessions. All masterminds are group coaching, but not all group coaching is a mastermind!
Should I join a Mastermind?
If you are wondering whether or not a mastermind is for you then see if any of the following statements resonate with you (you don’t have to choose them all!):
- You’re open to listening to and accepting the ideas of others
- You want to support other people by sharing what you’ve learned along your career journey so far
- You’re not sure which way is up or down in your career and are struggling to make the next move
- You are sick and tired of trying to figure everything out by yourself
- You’re ready to ditch the guilt of trying to please everyone else and settling for less yourself
One way to be accountable for your goals
When I think of my own experiences in a mastermind or group coaching environment, I can see that it was the difference between feeling stuck in my goals and feeling ready to take on the world.
Accountability was the key for me. For better or worse I don’t like letting people down. Sharing my goals, and the steps I intend to use to reach them with the group holds me accountable. They can also ask how I’m getting on and when I inevitably get stuck they help me get unstuck.
There are many other benefits of joining a mastermind group/group coaching programme. Here are some of the things I experienced that helped me stay accountable:
- Clarity: Having a safe space to talk helped me get focus. When I was trying to work through the challenges I was having, I was too close to the issue, I felt surrounded by fog. In talking about what was stopping me and hearing others' stories too, I was like a light shining through the fog to guide me to where I wanted to go.
- Structure: I said at the beginning of this article that two things helped me reach my goal - being accountable for my goals and having a plan. Having a plan helps keep our minds on the end goal. It keeps us organised, on track, and moving in the right direction. A mastermind can help you find that structure again and stick to it.
- Community: Your mastermind group quickly become friends you can lean on. They understand what you’re going through since they’ve been there. Stuff like sharing leadership knowledge, publicly supporting each other, making introductions to other people in their network, being a confidante of secrets, and even giving emotional support.
- Resources/contacts: When you join a mastermind group with the right people, your network is immediately expanded to everyone in the group and everyone they know.
- Career Solutions: Instead of working on the problem yourself, you’ll have a whole team of amazing leaders working on it with you. And you don’t even have to add them to your payroll.
What being accountable really means
You can find these benefits and many others by searching for benefits of mastermind groups but I wanted to share the actual differences these kinds of programmes made to me.
Could you imagine a life where you’re confident that your decisions come from a place of inner strength? Where you don’t doubt yourself or settle for less? What would that mean to you?
Over the last five years, I have benefitted from four different mastermind and group coaching programmes. Sure, the things I have listed above have been great, they have been how I have reached the goal but what have I ultimately got from creating that accountability? Peace of mind. Balance. Confidence. These things are the end result and they are priceless.