Being Held Accountable

Person swimming in a Lake - Being Held Accountable

We all want accountability.

But what does that look like? No excuses, which can be tough.

Everyone has an excuse for something – everyone.  

Here’s my take: it’s easier to hold yourself accountable than to be held accountable. But for those who have the courage to hold others accountable? Results happen easier, with less friction.

Please read my most recent experience of being held accountable – I so valued the experience!!

#accountability #leadershipmindset #leadership

“Angie, did you have a panic attack?”

“No,” I answered.  

“Then you need to complete your workout. This is your goal, remember?”

Dang, I hate it when people are right.

So, here’s the story. I just started training for a full Ironman – Chattanooga 2024!! The other morning, after I went to the basement to pull my wetsuit out of a box, I realized it’d been nearly two years since I’d swam in either open water or a pool. Victory, for me, that day was getting in the water and doggy paddling. Victory looked different for my tri coach. She’d set a 60-minute swim workout.

I’ve got to admit, I was pretty nervous at the water’s edge.

  • Not because of drowning, because I’d be swimming in shallow water.  
  • Not because of sharks, because I live in Michigan.

I was nervous because I knew I’d suck. And I did. I only could go for about 12 minutes straight.  My shoulder hurt, my heart was racing, and I had no desire to suffer any longer.

When I got back home and talked to my coach, she expressed concern over my safety, hence “Did you have a panic attack?” She was uninterested in my discomfort or excuses. She wasn’t passing out participation trophies that day. She explained that the workout is the workout – I could pause, catch my breath, slow down, but the goal is to complete because I’ve got an aggressive goal.

And that’s why I love a good coach.

As I shared in this LinkedIn post, at this moment I wanted empathy. I wanted an acknowledgment that I overcame a significant mental hurdle. I showed up – isn’t that half the battle?  

The other half is doing the work.

I am forever swapping roles between being a teacher and a student.  As a student on this journey, I can tell you that I just learned a powerful lesson:

  • For myself: Even though I teach leadership development, and wrote a book with “No Excuses” in the subheading, I – apparently – have excuses from time to time. They satisfy my ego, which definitely needs to be put in check from time to time.
  • About my coach: She’s not messing around. She knows she’s got her work cut out for her. Don’t we all need accountability partners like this?  

You’re smart enough to read between the lines in this story – though this story is about tri training, it’s more than that. This is about life. We’ve all got an excuse or two that satisfy our egos – how are these holding you back, though?  Feel free to reach out – I’d love to hear from you.

My best, Angie