From Brian Horn.. Accountability…A Path to a Fresh Start
....It is 2018! All I can say is wow, where did last year go? In my endeavor to finish strong, I began thinking about what I would like to accomplish both professionally and personally in the upcoming year. It seems this is the time of year I always plan on getting in better shape, reading more books etc., all different permutations of previous and mostly unrealized New Year’s resolutions. So, I am thinking of how I will start this next year differently. What should be my approach? Making changes in habits can be difficult and doing the same thing and expecting a different result is…insane. Somehow, I still have been unable to get that message through my head. That’s not to say I consider the events of 2017 a failure because I don’t. I experienced many great blessings at work and at home, hearty laughter, some tears and a few bits of whimsical thinking and pontification. I don’t ever want to look back on years past and wish for something different, pine away for the good old days or sulk because I didn’t meet all of the goals I had wanted to achieve. Because what is in the past is just that, in the past.
Change is not easy. It requires a real commitment and dedication to the desired outcome. The difficulty is in the commitment to the process, which often is never seen and in some instances never started. There have been many times in my life when I have met people and marveled at their professional knowledge and acumen. I loved being around them as their passion and enthusiasm sparked a desire inside of me to be more like them. I found myself wanting to have similar characteristics, personality traits, technical wisdom or social graces. What I often overlooked was the hours of study, dedication and hard work these individuals had invested in order to achieve their present understanding, knowledge or financial and personal accomplishments. This became clear to me last week when I was corresponding with Charles Sternbach (AAPG President) regarding the upcoming AAPG Super Basins Meeting in March. I was traveling overseas and received a text message from Charles asking if we could chat. The caveat being it was 3:00 am Tulsa time! We spoke by phone and I must admit I was caught up in his enthusiasm and passion for the meeting. He had woken up and immediately started thinking about the conference. After our conversation, I realized that successful people often make these kinds of personal sacrifices in order to promote something they truly believe in. The Super Basins Conference will be here in Houston in March and I would encourage everyone in HGS to attend.
So what will I do differently in 2018? Forme accountability is the answer! When I was in college I lived with some friends and we committed to holding one another accountable to our words, actions, and commitments. It sounds easy, but when my friends would inquire about particular issues often it quickly became obvious I had to fess up to the fact that I had not been faithful to my commitments or obligations. This was a humbling and motivating experience and it forced me to be more honest with myself about what I said I wanted and what it was I actually did.
It has been several years since that time and the flow of life often separates us from a setting of living in a community of friends. Fortunately, I still have many personal accountabilities (family and friends) as well as professional accountabilities (work, AAPG,and HGS). However, accountability on a professional level has its own challenges as this requires us to surrender some authority to individuals we can trust. We must be open to their critique of the progress we have made and the counsel they give. Accountability is also a two-way street and the individuals we ask to help us achieve our goals must also commit to the responsibility in helping us accomplish our goals.
For my 2018 professional goals, I would like to ask the HGS community to volunteer by holding me accountable. I promise I will not make a public list, that would not be appropriate and HGS members have more important things to do. But I will commit to this. If you see me around town or at a meeting please don’t hesitate to inquire, “Brian, how are you progressing on your 2018 goals?” I promise to be honest with my reply and if time allows I might share the particular issues at hand ask for advice on what I can do differently. I will welcome any and all feedback and I would be honored to have such a diverse group of advisors.
This next year can be truly amazing if we set our goals high, expect to succeed and remember that we are not in this by ourselves. I would encourage all of you to pick one or two things you would like to accomplish in 2018 and share them with your trusted advisors or mentors. Ask them if they would be honored to accept the responsibility to hold you accountablei n accomplishing those goals. Not in a legalistic fashion, but in a way that is encouraging, honest and spurs each of us on toward what we truly want to accomplish in 2018.