Where do you go to be completely honest with what you are feeling, thinking and going through without being judged? Who hears your heart with all its fears, joys and concerns? Who do you have to be straight up, in your face honest with you, to let you hear the hard truth even when you do not want to hear it? Many of us, especially leaders, do not have such honesty and accountability in our lives. And for many, the consequences have been tragic.
I have learned that such honesty and accountability is essential for us to live and lead with passion, vision, purpose and excellence. It also helps us avoid the disillusionment of self-sufficiency. I have heard many people, myself included, say, “I know if I had had a place to be honest and held accountable, I would not have made many of the mistakes I made.”
As much as you would like to think that such accountability is not necessary, the reality is that it is an essential part of life and leadership. Accountability and honesty protects and helps you to grow as a person and a leader; it does not hurt you as you may have been led to believe.
You may be asking, “Who will I trust? I do not know anyone I can trust enough to be completely honest with.”
Let me suggest some ways you can start working toward being honest and accountable.
A. Start by being intentional about seeking out people with whom you can become open and honest. Go out to coffee and get to know people who demonstrate healthy levels of spiritual, emotional and relational maturity.
Ask questions about areas of their life that attract you. Ask how they manage their emotions, or how they have grown in faith to where they remain Christ-centered while living in the midst of daily distractions?
It often is helpful to find those who are struggling or have struggled in similar ways as you. There is a level of honesty and accountability that almost naturally evolves when we connect with our brokenness.
B. While this may not be a strict rule for all, I recommend you seek out persons of the same gender when sharing this level of vulnerability. Others would ask, what is the big deal about sharing with the opposite gender?
My experience and the experience of many indicates that it is very risky to become this honest and accountable with someone of the opposite gender. In this situation, sharing with someone on a regular basis at this level has the potential to lead to unhealthy emotional attachments. Why put yourself in such a risky position?
C. Be intentional about being held accountable and honest. For that to happen, you must intentionally schedule time on your calendar; it’s that important. You cannot afford to meet only when you think you can squeeze it into your schedule. That is a recipe for not getting serious. Schedule it and stick with it, and you will come to realize how vitally important it is for you.
Accountability and honesty are crucial in the life of a leader. You will undoubtedly go further faster and more safely when you allow yourself to be honest with and held accountable to at least one person. A group of three or four is far more effective so you benefit from different perspectives.
There is a freedom, peace and confidence that can only be experienced through being part of a group where you can be completely honest and held accountable for how you live your life. Your life grows in ways that are only possible when you submit your life to such accountability.
Question: Do you have a place of accountability and honesty in your life? If you do not, what steps can you take today to start creating such a place in your life?
If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at email@example.com to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.