In March 2020 the world seemingly shut down. One by one states and then nations ordered people to stay home, banned public gatherings, and were forbidden to go to work, school, or church. While the emotional and physiological fallout of these decisions has yet to be fully known, we do know that the mental health of our children, especially teens, has declined significantly since those actions were forced upon us.
According to a CDC press release published March 2022, two years after the shutdown, 37% of high school students reported poor mental health in COVID-19 and “44% reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the last year.”
The article goes on to say that an increase in “school connectedness” greatly decreased sadness, hopelessness, and suicide attempts.
In other words, isolation is NOT good for anyone.
All I had to do to see if there were other negative effects of isolation was to google “effects of isolation”. The results are endless. Isolation causes so many negative effects.
Isolation is especially terrible for leaders. You may disagree with me, but I’ve seen so many leaders get in trouble when they begin to shy away from accountability. I’m not only referencing mental health, I’m talking about leaders falling hard in every area.
Accountability comes in many forms and should be embraced in various forms. It can be in the form of a small group Biblestudy where others hold you accountable to Biblical standards. It can be found in a coaching relationship where someone is looking over your work and coaching you on a weekly basis.
Right now I am coaching a partnership through the implementation of marketing strategies that we developed together. They need me to hold them accountable to do what they have agreed to do. This isn’t babysitting, this is a reality that we all do better when we are held accountable.
In the corporate world, a Board acts as an accountability partner to its leader. In “Whatever It Takes” by Stephen Schwartzman, CEO of Blackstone, he writes about a time when he proposed that Blackstone NOT pay their dividend because they would have to borrow funds to make the payment. The board disagreed and he relented, they paid the dividend with borrowed funds. In retrospect, he realizes they made the right choice.
Accountability is attune to vulnerability with a small group of trusted people. It’s not baring your soul to everyone every time you meet. It’s not codependency. It’s honest, heart-to-heart, sometimes hard-hitting conversations about where you are at spiritually, physically, financially, emotionally, and physiologically.
Accountability is the ability to know that if someone were to see everything you did throughout the day, that you’d be proud of what they observed because you did everything you have committed to doing. Whether it be making a certain number of sales calls, eating the right things, working out, or living the life you dream of.
With accountability, you will be a better leader. You were meant to have deep long-lasting relationships with others. We all are made that way. Don’t run from accountability, embrace the honest loving criticism of a few trusted people.
Proverbs 27:5 says, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” (NASB) When you are held accountable, you should be rebuked when you are wrong so that you can be the best leader you can be.