Effective Leaders Remain Accountable

A leader must remain accountable in order to stay on top of being a leader, and follower of Christ.

A leader must remain accountable in order to stay on top of being a leader, and follower of Christ.

Photo by alles-schlumpf

When you think of accountability, you often think of a leader keeping others accountable. That’s one of their roles as a leader right? Well this is true, but a leader also has the responsibility to keep him or herself accountable.

There are two areas a leader needs to remain accountable in: first, they should hold themselves to the same standards as everyone under them: and second, they should recognize their own need to have someone who keeps them on track and accountable for their actions.

As a leader, whenever you set rules or regulations, you must be the first to follow them. It both sets an example for others to follow, and shows that you are really serious about the guidelines that you have set.

I can think of one situation I was in where a leader said one thing, but did another.  I was volunteering for a camp and one of the leaders for the camp told me, and a group of other guys, that we could only have one snack per day. Now, there was an entire room that had tables covered with snacks that had been donated for volunteers, yet for whatever reason, we were not supposed to have more than one a day. This would have been annoying, but OK. However, that leader proceeded to ignore her own rule, and have more than a few snacks per day. That aggravated me and many other volunteers and certainly did a lot to undermine that leader’s character and authority. I am sure you have encountered a similar situation where a leader set standards that they themselves could not or would not follow. So when you are leading, and setting rules, be the first to follow them. And if you cannot, then you think twice about whether they are good guidelines or rules for your group.

Secondly, a leader must remain accountable for their actions. One of the best ways to do this is to have an accountability partner, coach or mentor who is involved in your life and can recognize areas you are slacking especially if they are character areas.  Buddy is on the board of an organization that does not even spend $500 without the approval of the board.  This creates great accountability for leader and engenders confidence in the rest of the people involved in the organization.

Finally make sure that you are really being honest with others in these situations.  Some parents discipline lying that most because if you are OK with lying all other sins become possible.  If you are not honest with the people in your life accountability becomes a game just like everything else.  If you haven’t been honest with someone in your life, go back and apologize and start over and work at being honest with everyone important in your world.

If you do not have someone who keeps you accountable, consider talking with someone who has a similar leadership position or a friend who is not directly involved in your organization. It can be a mutual accountability, or one way, but the key is to make sure you have someone who will keep you on track, both with your organization and with God.

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What Does A Life Coach Do?

What does a life coach do?

What does a life coach do?

Photo by Alex Layzell

So maybe you are feeling a little skeptical about the whole ‘life coach’ thing. What does a life coach really do?

Life coaches actually can take on a number of roles, depending on your needs and the type of coach you are working with.  Here are seven typical roles of a life coach.

1.  Sounding Board. Sometimes a life coach will simply be there as a sounding board to help you weed out unimportant or ill advised activities and focus on the best items. Many top CEO’s employ personal life coaches who help them stay on track and focus on their goals and the goals of their company. You might need a life coach to help reorganize your life, or tweak certain aspects of your life.

2.  Ask Questions.  Most Life Coaches are great at getting to the heart of the matter.  Using questions instead of simply giving information they often lead the person being coached to the answers that they really need.

3.  Fresh Perspective. Often you just need someone with different eyes on the situation to give you an outside perspective free from the emotional attachments that you carry in your situations.

4.  Accountability. Many times just knowing that I am going to meet someone who is going to ask me a question is enough to get me off my backside to accomplish whatever it was.  Just today I met with a couple of the guys that I work with and we set out goals that we wanted to accomplish in he next 7 days.  Most of them were personal, some were business but I am sure we will do a better job of meeting those goals this week then we did last week because we know we are going to be asking each other about them at the end of the week.

5.  Life Purpose. If you are wishy washy on your reason for being on the planet the right coach can help you.  My friend and author Stephen Blandino (http://stephenblandino.com) first turned me on to Life Purpose coaching about 5 years ago and I have been enjoying doing it with lots of people over the years since then.

6.  Goal Attainment. Do you have goals out there that you just can’t seem to reach.  Maybe you have been thinking, dreaming and planning about some of them for years but can’t seem to get forward progress.  The right coach can give you the traction you need to make your dreams a reality.

7.  Priority Discernment.  Taking the time to get away can often give you the discernment that you need to figure out what you should be focusing on.  When that doesn’t work a few pertinent questions can often be all that you need to set you in the right direction.

Life coaches are really exactly what their name suggests; people who coach others as they go through the various challenges and distractions of life to help you get the most out of the life that God has given you.

The basic function of a life coach is to help you take the next step in life, to help you make the best use of your time and energy. And when you employ your time and energy effectively and efficiently in the right direction, you are suddenly able to accomplish great things of lasting value.

If you claim Christ as Lord and want a life coach I urge you to look for a life coach that has the same values as you.  It’s not hard as there are many Christian Life Coaches out there.  I have had three formal life/leadership coaches in my life and the results have always been wonderful.  If you have had a life coach please leave a comment and let me know what the experience was like for you.  Also feel free to recommend any great life coaches.