There are a number of behaviors that are enemies of self accountability. One is procrastination and the other is the trap associated with planning.
1. Procrastination. When I put things off it’s a big red flag. Sometimes it is stuff I don’t like to do, like my expense account. However when it involves that tough project, difficult conversation, doctor appointment to deal with a troubling symptom, etc. the consequences can be significant. If we make putting things off the norm, as with all habits, one procrastination leads to another and soon we get used to watching deadlines slipping by. This can lead to self blame and that good ole victim feeling. Self accountability has more of a do it now than a do it later attribute. It is a mindset.
2. The Planning Myth. It’s our tendency to vastly underestimate the amount of time we’ll require to complete a task. We think something is going to take X hours and it takes 2X as long. I’ve seen this so often and unfortunately participated in it. We think we have a plan but it’s a myth. We actually did not do the detail work to really go through all the elements that impact time and resources. People like me in CEO roles are especially dangerous. We can delegate projects and set unreasonable expectations because of incomplete planning. The Japanese developed some great planning tools that forced planning to go “five levels” deep to get closer to the detail required to have a complete plan well executed. When we make assumptions that a plan exists without the detail work required, it’s a myth that a successful roadmap has been developed.
So to support our self accountability ethos, let’s do it now (watch for the avoidance red flag) and overcome the planning myth (go 5 levels deep). This way we become effective executors on what is most important to us …our agenda.