Brad is a Christian author, blogger, and speaker. Writing about all things related to men and the suburban life from marriage and kids, to work/life balance, fitness, DIY home repair and lawn care.
You can find him in the FREE Facebook Group based on these subjects called The Frat House – A group designed to bring together people of similar life stages: Christian career-minded men trying to reduce the stresses of daily life while raising Godly kids.
Speaking at a men’s event, I once heard a close friend give a talk he called “3 Men You Need in Your Life.” He went on to describe how important our relationships are, how every man needs “A mentor to follow, a friend to walk with, and a follower to lead.” It’s a very profound concept. To think that we have an opportunity obligation as men to seek out the wisdom of our elders, support one another through our daily struggles, and be a beacon of light to those that are less experienced than ourselves.
I’m not sure why men seem destined to live in isolation. There are a lot of guys that I would call friends but very few that I would expect to hold me accountable if I did anything against the principles I say I stand for. And yet there are fewer that I would feel comfortable calling to task if I saw them doing something against their own integrity. We aren’t just talking about moral obligations here either. We need people to keep us in check, to keep us moving in the right direction in every area of our life. And it doesn’t always have to be the same guy for each area of your life.
Different Areas, Different Mentors
I am far from having mastered the area of personal accountability. But there are different guys that I see in different places throughout my life that help keep me in check even if it is an unofficial capacity. The guy that I discuss career goals with is different than the guy that makes sure that I’m going to show up at the gym today. There’s even a different guy that I have religious discussions and debates with. In none of these relationships have we ever said the words “accountability partner” or “mentor”. I know a lot of people that have entered into formal mentoring relationships and asked someone they respect to be their mentor whether in a career, physical fitness or religious context.
But I think the most important aspect of each of these relationships is that they have been created organically, never having been forced. The first aspect of a successful accountability relationship seems to be cohesive personalities. It has to flow and you have to get along with one another outside of the formal accountability aspect of the relationship. This is another reason why I don’t hesitate to have multiple accountability partners in different areas of my life. I wouldn’t expect someone who doesn’t work out to hold me responsible for working out today. I would love nothing more than for him to come to me and ask for advice for getting fit but I can’t ask the same of him.
So my challenge to you is to look for people in your life that will hold you accountable to your goals. The best way to do this is to identify a couple of areas of your life you want to improve (career networking, marriage relationship, raising Godly kids) and find people that you already know that are stronger than you or maybe just a little further down the road.
It would be really easy for two people that don’t workout to say that they are going to hold each other accountable to working out more. But that doesn’t mean that either of them have any more guidance for getting in better shape than if they had the help of someone that’s a little further than themselves in the journey. It’s best to find someone that you are close enough to call you out for not holding up your end of the bargain but also can lead you down the right path.
In the same way, you have an obligation to those that are coming along behind you in the struggle. I’m not saying that you should be offering unsolicited advice; but be open to lending an ear when someone might be reaching out to you in an area that they need strengthening.
It Isn’t Easy, Be Diligent
As men this is something that does not come naturally so we must be more diligent in identifying accountability opportunities with one another. Because one thing that does seem to be built into us is a desire for achievement; always looking for opportunities to be bigger, better, stronger at everything we do. So what better way to achieve your goals than to do it together, looking for someone that will constantly push you toward your goals and helping you become the best man you can be.
If you were encouraged and/or motivated by Brad’s post, please do me 2 favors: 1) leave a short comment below and 2) share this post on any of your favorite social media sites or email it to a friend.
Also published on Medium.