“Why do you think your business is doing so well this year,” I asked.
“Because I hold my team accountable,” he replied with a huge grin.
“What does that mean?” I said.
He said, “You know, I hold them accountable!”
After asking again and again, finally I said, “What do you do? Take them out back and beat the heck out of them if they don’t do what you say?”
With a concerned face, he said “No. I spend more time with my team than ever before. I always treat them with dignity and respect. I constantly ask, ‘How can I help you?’ I model the behavior I want to see in them.”
“Oh, you’re a servant leader,” I said.
And he said, “Yeah, I guess I am.”
James encourages us to talk to each other, have special people who we can share everything with – even our faults, so we live together, whole and healed.
My friend found out that you can’t make a team do anything. Being accountable to him doesn’t insure they do what he asks.
He learned when he serves them, they trust him enough to give an account of their work. In a trusting relationship, he develops and leads them to be who God designed them to be.
You decide what daily actions to take. You decide what words to speak. You can have accountability partners who encourage, listen, and lovingly correct when needed.
Ultimately you are accountable to yourself.
We have only ourselves to blame for our actions or lack of actions.
We have only ourselves to hold responsible as we speak hurtful words.
We have only ourselves to see in the mirror as we choose accountability partners.
Do they lift you up? Or, do they drag you deeper into the valley of pessimism?
Do they encourage you with love? Or, do they play mind games to question what you know is good and holy?
Here’s an easy litmus test: After talking with them, do you feel better about your work, the company you represent, and your leader?
Or, are you now suspicious, uneasy and discouraged?
If any of your current “friends” are bringing you down, have a little talk with them. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.
If they refuse, pray for them anyway, but find someone else to be your accountability partner. Your work and life are too valuable to risk with just anyone.
Discover the accountability partners God has for you so you can increase your faith with greater joy at work and love God and others more.
Mike Van Vranken