At the end of each year I review the past year and start to plan out the following one. Over the last few years I’ve done this practice alongside my friends Mary Freer, Kirsty Stark and Peter Shepherd. We support and coach each other in our work. They inspire, support, motivate me to do better and their insights are ever valuable, either about what I’ve written or when I read their reviews and plans. Kirsty asked herself this question:
How do I remind myself of the promises I’m making now?
Urgh! She’d articulated everything in that question that I’d felt about 2022. In reviewing my 2022 I saw I hadn’t lived up to the goals I’d set myself at the start of the year. 2022 was a year I wasn’t especially proud of. There were achievements I was proud of but I knew I could have achieved more and gone further. I concluded I was too comfortable in my privilege. I need to build in more discomfort to increase my willingness to lean in harder to the work I need to do and should be doing.
[note: this is about the work I’m doing at unmeasured]
I had some thoughts around what I might try:
- A coach
- An accountability partner or partners
- A personal advisory board
- Better work systems and processes
All are possible and one or other may well be adopted over the year, but as I pondered I had another idea. What if I committed to doing my work in public? Not the actual work, but what I’d worked on and achieved on a daily basis. Include a public daily summary of what I’d done. If I’d sat on my hands all day, I’d have to fess up in public.
It’s an experiment.
It puts me on the hook, each and every day.
The idea made me uncomfortable. That was a good thing.
Realistically, I know it’s unlikely anyone will be checking in with me daily or even at all. Realistically, no-one could probably give a rats-arse what I’m doing, but I do. And it’s public. It’s enough for me to feel accountable and uncomfortable.
Here I go!
Update – 16 February 2023
You’ll note from this date and perhaps even leading up to it, I’ve slowly been pivoting from making this about accountability and more about working out loud. That’s partly because I was a little bored with writing such dry posts for accountability but also I realised it wasn’t very interesting or helpful for anyone else. The bigger reason was because I had adopted this practice of review and accountability I was starting to better see shortcomings in what I was doing, until one day (16th February 2023) I just stared it straight the elephant in my room in the face. And realised I had a problem.
It started a spiral.
And I started writing about it. Getting my thoughts and feelings on the page. At least as much as I felt comfortable with. It was like much of my writing a process to help my thinking. It was also a way of sharing with others in case it might be helpful to them too. Business is hard and we rarely share the crises we face. The challenges we see when we stare them in the face. Or how we navigate the whole process.
So this blog is as much about working out loud, as it is about accountability.