Everybody Needs a Buddy: Why Accountability Works

One of the simplest and most effective ways to accomplish your goals is to rely on an accountability partner.  Checking in with a buddy about your daily actions, your weekly accomplishments, your monthly roadblocks, and your yearly goals will keep you on track and actually help you generate bigger results quickly.

My students often ask me, “Dallas, how do you get so much stuff done everyday?”  My answer is simple.  I have support.  I rely on my accountability buddy to help me prioritize my immediate goals, take smart actions daily, and most importantly, celebrate the process.

Believe it or not, I have three accountability partners.  That’s right, three.  I’m a big believer in the power of teamwork.  So,  I guess you could say that when it comes to accountability, I take a “more is merrier” approach.  Now, you do not need to have three different accountability partners.  Unless, of course, you want to.  Instead, why don’t you pick the type of partnership that feels like the best fit for you.

The Daily Buddy Check-In
My first accountability buddy, Joanna and I begin every workday with a 7:00 am check-in phone call.  Joanna and I are both building our businesses at a rapid rate.  Though our businesses are different, we operate in the same way.  We’re both quick decision makers, hard workers, and big thinkers.  These similarities make us the perfect match for daily accountability calls.

These calls last about twenty minutes and they’re designed to help us both laser in on the day’s top priorities.  Joanna and I have been making these buddy calls since the beginning of the year and I credit them to helping me accomplish more in the last six months than I did in the previous twelve.  These daily calls also provide an instant confidence boost because I’ve got a buddy to remind me everyday of the mini accomplishments that I often ignore when I’m working on my own.

Here’s what the daily buddy check-in looks like:

1.  Joanna calls me at 7:00 am sharp.
2.  We each have ten minutes to share and we take turns going first
3.  During our allotted time, we share what we accomplished the day before.  Then we identify the immediate priorities for that day.  Lastly, we discuss what, if any insight or support we need from the other person.

If you’re looking for more focus or you just need a swift kick in the rear, the Daily Buddy Check-In is just what the doctor ordered!

The Weekly Buddy Deep Dive
I think of my daily check-ins with Joanna as a daily jumpstart to my business battery.  My weekly calls with my lovely friend Melanie are more like a deep dive.  During these hour long calls, Melanie and I rely on our personal expertise to coach each other.

Melanie and I have opposite strengths.  My business is more evolved than hers, so I can share how-to tips to help her develop her marketing muscles.  With years of training and work as an expert healer, Melanie is spiritual, centered, and really in tune; qualities I’d like to expand in myself.  That’s why she and I are the perfect pair to dive deeply each week into strengthening our ‘weak spots’.

Our weekly deep dive calls look like this:

1.  I call Melanie every Monday at 8:00 am.
2.  One of us volunteers to go first.
3.  We start by sharing a brief overview of the previous week and the projects we’re currently working on.
4.  Then, we laser in on specific questions we have for the other person.
5.  We address all of the first person’s questions.
6.  Then, person one commits to take specific actions before the next call.
7.  Next, it’s person number two’s turn.
8.  At the end of the call, we congratulate each other on all of the progress we’re making.
9.  These calls are typically an hour long and I’m always amazed by how quickly time flies!

If you’re feeling stuck in your career and want deeper support, the Weekly Buddy Deep Dive is for you.

The Monthly Buddy Brainstorm
Last but not least are my monthly brainstorming calls with Pat.  She’s a mover and a shaker and a ton of fun!  Pat and I already get a lot of support in our businesses, but we still like a periodic check in to take a step back and look at the big picture.

Here’s a sample structure for the Monthly Buddy Brainstorm:

1.  Pat and I set a date and time for our monthly call.  We’re both so busy that the dates often shift, so rather than having a set date, we schedule our calls one at a time.
2.  We begin the call with a quick hello and catch up.
3.  One of us then volunteers to share first.
4.  We share successes for the month.
5.  We then address the specific project we’re currently focusing on.
6.  As the conversation unfolds, we offer up ideas, support, and resources for the other person.
7.  We identify the specific actions we want the other to hold us accountable to during the next month’s check in.
8.  At the end of the call, we schedule next month’s call.
9.  There is no time limit for these monthly calls.  For me and Pat, they’ve ranged from sixty minutes to just five minutes in length.
Between monthly check-ins, Pat and I know that we can reach out to each other if a problem arises.

If you’re truckin’ along in your career endeavors and just want an outside perspective every once in a while, try the Monthly Buddy Brainstorm on for size.


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13 Responses to “Everybody Needs a Buddy: Why Accountability Works”

  1. Monique Carmona says:

    What an awesome photo to go with a solid, generous article!
    Now I just need the goggles and helmet;)

  2. James Georgiades says:

    Thank you Dallas, this is helpfull. I am looking forward to seeing you in August in NYC

    Jimmy G

  3. angella sweatt says:

    Loved this idea. It seems my buddies just want to talk about themselves and their problems.
    What a good idea to find others to support as they support you.

  4. Love this Dallas! My Brainsofminerva.com partner Sarah and I started a weekly accountability system many years ago when we were on different coasts and accomplished a lot during that time. That definitely sowed the seeds for our current collaboration…I love it when you share the steps (and missteps) of building your business.

  5. Velina Brown says:

    Great article. Thank you so much. I could really use an accountability
    buddy. I think my loner style has reached it’s limit! Thanks again.

  6. Kristi Koons says:

    Thanks, Dallas!

    Your advice posts are great and I’m really looking forward to your coaching call next week on the 8th. I really appreciate your guidance and support.

  7. As always, sage advice from a master!!!

    I heavily rely on accountability buddies in both my personal life, business, AND the people I am coaching too!!

    Might I also add that a mentor makes a great accountability buddy as well. If we find someone who’s done what we want to do, and ask them to mentor us; being accountable to them is often the kick in the pants I need!

    GREAT article!!

  8. Dallas, I can’t thank you enough for introducing me to this concept a few years ago. The amount I have accomplished as a direct result of having an accountability buddy has been phenomenal. Just knowing that one other person will be mildly disappointed if I don’t accomplish what I say I will ensures that I stay on track.

    About once a month we talk for an hour or two about our life priorities, then we check-in about our 8wk goals. We check-in on a weekly basis to ensure progress and strategize for the week. Then we text or call each other every day to ensure that we are on track.

    It’s quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

    The key is to find someone who is as driven as you – if there’s an imbalance it will feel like a time suck and won’t lead to much.

  9. Loved this Dallas! Thank you so much. Really useful information!

  10. Deborah Unger says:

    Just want to put in my two cents and say that the buddy system WORKS! Even though Jen and I have been buddies for more than 8 months (Could that be possible?), we are still finding new ways to support one another. We speak at least once a week, and more if there is something up. Well, today I actually did a scary phone call with her! I asked about her manager and the possibility of a reference. And the reason I waited so long to do such a thing? Well, my independent streak actually got in the mail. Suffice to say that within the hour Jen had sent an email to her manager recommending me (with headshot and resume attached — how’s THAT for a buddy?!?). I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude that she is my buddy.
    By the way, we took your image of the geese flying in formation and their support of one another as our main ground of being, and we actually call each other Goosie! how about that!

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