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Checkpoints: Accountability

You're more likely to follow through with an idea when you know someone else is watching, waiting, or participating.

You’re more likely to follow through with an idea when you know someone else is watching, waiting, or participating. A simple law of human nature is that we are motivated by the expectations and promises that we set for ourselves publicly – especially in the eyes of those we admire.

Even as a core element of all creative success, accountability can be highly intimidating for many, especially when it comes to the possibility of criticism. It is important to remember, however, that aligning yourself with a peer group will ultimately motivate you past many roadblocks you’ll inevitably find along the way in any project’s lifespan. Knowing that someone else — not just a client — is involved provides further incentive for all parties to succeed.Productive creative professionals often cite a turning point in their productivity tied to the moment when they “put themselves out there.” Whether your community includes friends, family, partners, or more often peers in your industry, accountability breeds follow-through and productivity.

If fear of criticism is a major issue, it’s important to build circles wherein you trust the parties involved. Knowing those people have your best interests in mind can ease any apprehension about sharing ideas and progress. Many are even using their inner circles on Behance Network to field feedback on works in progress, with much success.

Accountability helps you stay focused, feel responsible, and ultimately make ideas happen. Many creative professionals use web 2.0 tools such as Myspace or realm-specific community sites to get their ideas out there, solicit questions and feedback, and ultimately feel the burden to actually follow through on stated goals.

As with your initial creative pursuit, accountability begins with you. It’s tempting to stick it out alone, but research indicates otherwise. Keeping ideas to yourself is a disservice to the further development and ultimate success of your projects. Open yourself up, and make ideas happen!

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Comments (3)
  • tmd78

    Finally a way of talking about creativity that actually produces something! Feet up on the desk is great, but if you can’t make anything, what’s the point?

  • justinpowelldesign

    This article is right on in regards to fostering support with a trusted community – well said Heather.<br />
    <br />
    I get the “jump” to accountability (to produce work that holds up to a proclaimed goal or strategy). I would extend this theory to the client, product, or service you create for, not just your peers. Because, with more and more tools out there to measure success (online especially) we REALLY have to be in tune with this concept of accountability. And embracing the tools that help us deliver.

  • nicklausdeyring

    Ultimately this is using accountability as a motivation technique, an excellent commentary on a topic that is usually so focused on the client relationship. It’s great to think of your accountability to yourself and your peers as being equally important.

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