Accountability Partners and Why You Need One

what is an accountability partner

An accountability partner is your right-hand supporter who will stand by your side through your company’s ups and downs and who will work with you to achieve your goals.

Often a CFO can act as an accountability partner to a CEO. They can help hold you to your business goals while also keeping you responsible for your actions.

Think of having an executive accountability partner similar to having a gym buddy. They are there to help motivate and encourage you, to remind you to stick to your exercise and nutrition goals, to help you set realistic expectations, and ultimately push you to reach your fitness goals.

What is the Role of an Accountability Partner?

Business accountability partners are similar to a mentor, with a few significant differences. Your mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor who can teach you from their knowledge and experiences.

Your relationship with a mentor is typically hierarchical, but an accountability partner is a peer-to-peer. Having someone who you feel can be candid with you and can keep you on track and ultimately make it easier to achieve your goals.

One modern-day example is Oprah Winfrey stating Maya Angelou (poet and author) was her mentor. Winfrey described Angelou as being “…there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life.” Winfrey has also spoken of her accountability partners for her personal life, her buddies at Weight Watchers who help her to meet her weight loss goals.

While both relationships benefit Oprah’s personal and professional growth, they fill different roles. When it comes to your business, an accountability partner can prevent you from running your company off the rails and guide you towards success.

Read more: 5 Key traits of successful leaders and how they can benefit your company

What are the Benefits of an Accountability Partner?

We are not meant to do everything on our own, especially when it comes to business. If you can find someone to hold you accountable for your lofty goals, you can achieve those targets much more quickly.

To get the most out of your relationship, consider the following:

  • How your accountability partner measures and reports your progress
  • How your accountability partner reacts when you go off-track
  • How much ownership you assume for your actions

The way in which your company utilizes accountability will determine how you implement your strategy and achieve your goals. Having an accountability partner will affect every goal, task, and action-no matter how big or small.

The benefits that you can reap from your relationship with an accountability partner include:

  • Your performance will improve: When people know they are being held accountable by others for their actions, they will work harder. Research shows that when someone publicly shares their goals, they have around a 65% chance of success. However, having a specific accountability partner boosts that chance to 95%.
  • You receive honest feedback: Just as you are committed to your goals, your accountability partner must be committed to giving you honest feedback, both positive and negative. Consider implementing consequences when specific goals are not met. These could be in the form of financial penalties or admitting you let your partner down. On the other hand, brainstorm rewards that your partner can provide when you reach your goals.
  • You stay on track: Having an accountability partner can keep you on track and improve your productivity. With this structure, it is unlikely you would become distracted from your goals. To avoid any feelings of overwhelm, an accountability partner can help you break down your goals into actionable and attainable steps.
  • You will be able to create deadlines: Your accountability partner will help you in reaching your goals by setting fixed and public deadlines. Sharing your goals with a partner will help ensure that you reach your deadlines.
  • You stay grounded: Accountability enables you to reinforce your goals regularly. It prevents you from becoming too optimistic and lets you to keep your feet on the ground, even when day-to-day tasks can seem mundane. Your partner helps you stay mindful of the present so that you can achieve your short-term goals.
  • You will keep problems in perspective: If you don’t address small problems right away, they can quickly grow into bigger issues. There may be times when you inadvertently overlook concerns that need to be addressed. An accountability partner will provide you with a second pair of eyes, therefore, helping you prevent these instances from occurring.
  • You can learn from others’ successes and mistakes: Having a conversation with your accountability partner can give you new perspectives on business through real-life examples. You can learn from other people’s successes as well as their mistakes in business. Having this type of partnership can help you identify challenges in your business that you may not have thought about before.

How to Choose Your Accountability Partner

To get the most out of this relationship, you’ll need to choose someone who compliments your personality and knows how to motivate you to reach your goals. Here are some tips on selecting an accountability partner who can help you with your professional growth journey:

  • Find someone who has incredible self-discipline
  • Choose an objective partner — not a friend or family member
  • Choose a partner you want to impress
  • Define your goals, your plan to achieve them, and how you’ll share and measure progress
  • Develop a growth plan and timeline with your accountability partner

Do you Have the Wrong Accountability Partner?

After you choose the person who will fill this role, check for any red flags that you may have chosen the wrong partner. A few common signs include:

  • Compatibility: Do your viewpoints and goals differ widely? Do you frequently clash when you communicate? Is your relationship becoming too much of a distraction?
  • Mutuality: Do you feel that your relationship is one-sided? Are both of you benefitting from this relationship? Is your accountability partner fulfilling their commitments?
  • Scheduling: Are you having problems agreeing on a time to meet? Are your schedules clashing? Is your accountability partner not showing up for appointments?

How Signature Analytics Can Help with Your Accountability

Signature Analytics can provide your company with an outsourced CFO to act as your accountability partner through our Financial Performance System. The CFOs function as your strategic partner and will help you develop a financial roadmap specific to your organizational goals in relation to your ultimate vision for your business.

By focusing on your company’s metrics, they will help you to create a realistic, future-focused plan of action, help you in achieving your goals, and make better, informed decisions, leading to several benefits:

  • You are guaranteed an experienced and fully vetted accountability partner
  • You can take advantage of a committed accountability partner without paying a full-time salary
  • Your CFO can help your company grow and maximize your profitability
  • Your CFO can provide an accountability partner who can work on or off-site to suit your schedule

When it comes to growing your business, don’t try to go it alone. Having a partner to hold you accountable can be the difference between developing a successful financial plan opening the possibility to expand your company, and losing sight of your goals or even losing your business. Contact Signature Analytics to discuss how we can help you stay accountable to your strategic business plan.