• canibarro

Building Personal Accountability

Accountability is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal when we're trying to do achieve BIG things. When you're leading a team of people who have different goals and responsibilities, it is key that you keep everyone on the same page, moving towards their personal and professional goals.

It is hard to keep everyone focused on the things that matter most and accountable to delivering results without coming across like you're micromanaging.

I want to introduce a tool and routine that I know can help YOU and YOUR TEAM grow personal accountability. It's called the LMS, which stands for Long-Term, Mid-Term, and Short-Term goals. The LMS, which I also refer to as my 3G (3 Goals) is an accountability tool, a focusing tool, and a coaching tool. It's a way for both you and your team to map out your most important work for the coming year, month, and week. It's a single page document that is based on the long-term goals you've set, which you can work through weekly with each of your direct reports.


Start by defining the long-term goals. Long-term goals can be annual, semi-annual, or quarterly. Strive for 1, no more than 4. Include business AND personal goals. This is important because building real work-life balance can't start until there is real work-life commitment towards someone's future.

Make sure to list your long-term goals in order of priority! This sets the tone for everything that follows, and is the most important part of this worksheet. LIFE'S CIRCUMSTANCES WILL PUSH YOU OFF COURSE. At some point, you will have to choose what to focus on and what to pause. Knowing which of your goals matters most will help you at those times of discernment.

Once you've defined your personal and business goals for the long-term, you can move onto the goals for the month. Breaking your goal down is necessary and will help you understand where you expect to be. . . where to strive as each month approaches. I like how Gary Keller phrases his monthly goals, "What's the ONE THING I can do this month, such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary." That's a great focusing question. Again, just like your long-term goals, your monthly goals should be listed in priority!!

Gary Keller, The ONE Thing

This is where the magic happens. If you have clarity on your priority goal for the month, you can determine what will need to be done to achieve it. You will be empowered to start saying, "No" to everything else that will distract you from your goals. And when you do, you get to move what matters most.

Now that your monthly goal is defined, it's time to identify your goals for each week. Yes, each week. Most productivity frameworks have you focus on your activities at this point, but I've found incredible success and greater ability to really see what my high leverage activities are if I have a weekly goal. Forcing myself to focus on what I need to accomplish instead of what I need to do, in smaller and smaller increments, narrows my list of actions.

Start every week by looking back at what you accomplished the week before and looking ahead at what you still need to do to reach your monthly goals. By doing so, you'll be able to see the few tasks that will move you closer to your goals.

You can either be pushed by the day-to-day or pulled by a future. Having vision is great, but let's not romanticize anything here. Creating a future by your design is HARD WORK. The LMS is a focusing tool to keep your daily actions connected to your weekly goals, which are connected to monthly goals, which are connected to long-term goals. You'll fall off course. . . but I guarantee you'll course correct quicker and with greater reliability than ever before.

Try it. Try it with your team. Send me questions. I'd love to see you succeed with this tool!