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On yesterday’s episode, we talked about why you need an accountability partner. We touched on the three forms of accountability, keeping commitments, and how to become more self-disciplined.

One of the three forms of accountability we talked about yesterday was partner accountability. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about how to find an accountability partner.

I’m going to break down the “how” of finding an accountability partner into three sections:

  1. Values
  2. Levels
  3. Places

1. Values

First, you need to establish your values. When looking for an accountability partner, you need someone who can be on the same page as you and will keep you on track. This works best when the other person shares your core values and stands for the same things.

Spend some time thinking about your core values and what you stand for. Make a list of what’s important for you and look for someone who aligns with you on these pillars.

2. Levels

Once your values are established, you’ll start to notice people who share them. If you don’t have your values established already, this will not be clear.

Your first instinct when picking an accountability partner will be to approach people you’ve heard of. Naturally, if you’ve already heard of them, they’re probably relatively well-known. This is somewhat of a problem.

Let’s say on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being master), you are a level 2. You want to improve and you want to better yourself so you decide to position yourself around people who are more advanced than you (this is a wise move). The problem is, you can’t just jump to someone who is a level 10.

Accountability Partner vs. Mentor

There’s a difference between an accountability partner and a mentor. I would define an accountability partner as someone being within two levels of you. A mentor would be someone who is more than two levels above you.

If you go straight to the level 10, you’re effectively asking them to be your mentor. This is not going to work in most cases because those people have a lot of others who are also are vying for their attention. They’re going to be really hard to reach.

What you want to do is lower that threshold and don’t try to shoot so far when you’re only a level 2. An accountability partner is someone who is on a similar level and who will mutually benefit from your relationship. You can have an accountability partner who is the same level as you or even slightly lower. If you’re a 2, they could be a 1, 2, 3, or a 4—someone who’s in your ballpark.

You want someone who’s going in the same direction and has the same values. You’re looking for someone who has the kind of forward momentum that you want. The biggest takeaway is this:

Find someone who has the characteristics of the person you want to be.

What Level Am I?

Of course, in order to be able to determine if someone is within 2 levels of you, you need to establish what level you are!

If you’re wondering what level you are, don’t overthink it. There’s no hard and fast rule. If you’re looking for a rough gauge, you can use the 10,000 hours idea as a concept. If 10,000 hours is a master, you could consider each thousand hours leading up to be a level. So if you have one or two thousand hours in something, you’re probably a level 1 or 2.

This is just a guideline if you’re really feeling stuck. Don’t take it as a rule. It’s just a reference point or analogy if you need something tangible to be able to grasp this concept. Here are the two main points:

  1. Find someone who is comparable to you as an accountability partner.
  2. If you’re looking for a mentor, find someone who is a bit beyond you, but remember, they don’t necessarily have to be a level 10.

3. Places

Where do you go to find an accountability partner?

It’s not unlike dating in that you have certain values that mean something to you. If someone else is not on board with those values, then the two of you are not going to be a good fit. Also, if you’re not putting yourself out there in places where the people you want to meet are, you’re going to have a hard time.

You may be wondering:

  • How do I get in person with other people?
  • What do those places look like?
  • Where are the places I should go to make connections?
  • Where should I be if I want to meet people like myself?

Here are my recommendations:

  • Conferences
  • Meetups
  • Local groups
  • Speaking events
  • Online Communities

The idea is not to just have a one-time thing, but more of a “water cooler” concept. It’s a regular meeting with other people—I’m talking daily. Somewhere you can check in with people every day. It’s another form of accountability.

The perfect example of this is the Community. Every single day, throughout the day, there are people there. A lot of regulars check in every day and we have really enriching conversations. A lot of people watch seanwes tv and continue to tune in to each episode, and nod their head as these things resonate with them. If what we’re talking about is resonating with you, you are the type of person we have in the Community!

I only had a few minutes before recording this episode to hop in the Community chat, but I asked if anyone who had met their accountability partner in the Community wanted to share their story. Cory Miller said:

“I met my accountability partner, Kyle Adams, through the Community, and it has been a phenomenal experience. Even though we live halfway across the country from each other, we Skype weekly and update each other on our pursuits and work, and encouragement is a huge part of our time together. It was so impactful that we actually started our own podcast together on the seanwes network called Invisible Details. Kyle helps me to keep focus and to press on through the hard things. His friendship has made the Community beyond worth it, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

That’s so awesome. I think people don’t really realize how that happened. It has so quickly grown to this point for Cory and Kyle that people likely just think, “Oh yeah, Cory and Kyle have a show. It just happened.” But really it only happened because they were both here, they met, and they met regularly. They have a show on the seanwes network not because I bestowed any special blessing but because what was produced from their regular meetings was so valuable it had to be shared.

The best part about the Community is you get to skip past the entire first step of ensuring someone is on the same page with you because everyone in the Community is already on the same page. We’ve talked about three things: Values, Levels, and Places. With the Community, you skip #1 and you’re already in the right place so you skip #3 too! Since there’s so many likeminded individuals, #2 is basically a non-factor.

If you’re looking to find an accountability partner, I can’t think of a better place to accelerate that serendipity than the Community. We’d love to have you join.