Over the past 30 days, several business owners have demonstrated the power accountability has in helping them accomplish things they earlier had ability - but little drive - to do.
This week my focus is on the professional who made a practice of carrying his baggage around.
A man with many things on his plate, (we'll call him Frank) Frank would put out fires like the best of'em and at the end of the day, he would walk his carefully packed box full of all the projects he intended to complete to his car. He would stash it next to him, drive home and open the passenger door so he could haul his box into the house, hoping to find the energy to tackle it.
Frank was doing nothing more than dragging his baggage around. Day after day, week upon week and month upon month Frank did the same thing. What got dragged home got dragged back to the office every single day.
A self-described conflict avoider, Frank feared many things. His box full of projects was one of them. To make himself feel better, he carted it around. Yet he never really felt better.
Eventually he said "yes" to joining the Business Owners' Accountability Group I facilitate. Of course, he said yes for about 4 months prior to attending, for he couldn't get it scheduled.
Little things threw Frank. If he thought there would be a problem, he would avoid it. He knew he wanted to face his fears, yet he dreaded what it would involve. Just like that box, he kept saying yes without following through. The day he bit the bullet and went to BOAG, he learned how empowering it is to have a small group (under 7) of business owners around all talking about problems they were experiencing. When he realized he wasn't the only one with challenges, he felt better. Then when he saw the excitement others expressed with handling earlier challenges, Frank was motivated.
He told us all he would address his baggage, open it, pull out something small and complete it, every few hours in the evening. Soon he realized it was all small. It was all very do-able, and eventually he tackled the entire box in the 30 days between our meetings.
Frank is like so many other people who want to make changes but don't know how to address them. He wanted to say yes to taking on the responsibility but he didn't know how to talk to the voice in his head that was overwhelming him by the amount of work ahead. He has now begun to control himself - namely, that negative and overwhelming voice that keeps putting barriers in his path.
Now that Frank has a group making him accountable, he also has a group celebrating his successes. In small steps, Frank is shifting from a man Avoiding Conflict to one realizing that conflict is a clever disguise for a chance to prove something to ourselves.