Accountability at 14,000 Feet

On a recent trip to Colorado, I climbed my first fourteener. For non-hikers reading this, a fourteener is a mountain of 14,000 feet or greater peak elevation. My daughter, Allison, thought it would be fun and encouraged me to go with her. I consider myself to be in good physical shape, but strange things start to happen when you’re at those high altitudes and the air thins out. The hike came down to accountability, accountability to ourselves and accountability to each other. Without accountability the hike would have been way more dangerous. I’ll explain.

Before going on the hike, I made a commitment to myself that if I felt unsure at any point that I would stop, evaluate, and turnback if that was what needed to happen. There was nothing to prove. As much as I wanted to complete the climb to the top, it was more important to return home safely. This is where the accountability to me came in.

As we started to hike to the summit, I told Allison that she had the authority to end the hike at any time she felt I was not safe. Allison was best positioned to notice changes in my ability as we climbed, and I was in the best position to observe her. I knew she was much stronger at this point so I wanted her to have the call should we need to stop. It could have been easy to get into trouble, to try and push forward at a time when maybe turning back was the right call. Being accountable to and for each other helped eliminate that possibility.

In any endeavor, either personal or business, having someone you trust by your side is critically important. We can all see things that the other cannot. When we have people around us that have our best interest in mind, that understand that they are accountable to and accountable for us, things change. Likewise, we need to understand and accept the accountability we have for and to those people around us.

In business we need to be able to trust the people we work with. In life we need to be able to trust friends and family. Accountability becomes the glue that binds us. It is also what enables us to be at our best and achieve at our fullest potential.

When you take on the accountability commitment to “It’s All of Us” which states, when you fail, I fail, and when you succeed, I succeed, relationships deepen, you can move forward faster, and goals become a reality for the people around you and yourself. Being accountable recognizes that you have taken on commitments to yourself and to others. This level of connection deepens relationships and supercharges everything you attempt to accomplish.

We had an amazing climb and reached the top at 14,265 feet. It was an awesome day, one made better by taking the journey with someone I trusted and shared accountability with.

Be accountable and move your accomplishments to the next level – even 14,000 feet!


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