Leadership and the Importance of Follow Through
Following through is one of the best ways to build credibility, earn trust, and establish yourself as a leader. Without follow through, your credibility is damaged, your personal brand takes a hit, and your leadership will be questioned.
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As a leader, whether in your own company or in one you work for, following through on your commitments is a do or die, a make or break situation. Today I want to share with you the importance of follow through.
During a coaching session over the weekend, (did you know I was a coach?) I shared two experiences I had regarding follow through. The first experience left me feeling disappointed while the other left me surprised and excited.
One experience built trust and made me want to do business with that person.
One experience damaged trust and made me want to NOT do business with that person.
Wherever you are in your life, your career or your business, you can't put too much importance on follow through. (TWEET THAT!)
Example 1: Good Follow Through
The example of good follow through happened relatively recently. During a meeting, I asked a sales contact about the technical specifications of a solution that I was fairly familiar with. I asked for some clarification about how one piece of software could manipulate another piece of software to produce a certain result.
The sales person said he didn't know, but he would get back to me. I immediately said, “Yeah right” to myself and moved on to the next part of the meeting, and that was that.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Someone tells you they'll get back to you and you never hear from them again?
If your goal is to start, build, or grow your business or team, you should begin by following through. It's not always easy, but it's a must.
The next day, that same sales rep came by with an answer to my question. I have to admit; I was pretty shocked. I think that was the first time in the last four or five years that I can remember someone seeking me out after a sales meeting with a response to a question I'd had.
It's shocking but true. Follow through comes down to one thing – DWYSYWD.
Do What You Say You Will Do. For me, DWYSYWD (pronounced dwizzy-wid, or, if you're from the south, dweei-zy-wee-id) is the first and best way to build credibility and trust.
Here is another great blog post about restoring and building credibility.
Example 2: Bad Follow Through
The example I provided of bad follow through happened a few months ago. A contact who wanted me to work with him didn't even follow through enough to make it through scheduling a meeting.
Since it was his project, for his benefit, and would have taken a lot of time out of my day, I let him take ownership of handling the details. Every time he said he'd contact me, he wouldn't. Each time we were set to meet, he'd skip out, and I wouldn't hear from him for days.
When you're looking to build and strengthen relationships, following through with meetings is a no-brainer.
How would you have liked it if the guy or girl you had your eye on didn't show up for the first date? How would your life be different as a result of that poor follow through?
When you look at the team of people who you lead, whether they're employees of your company or your family members at home, ask yourself, “Do they trust me?”
If the answer is “yes,” fantastic!
If the answer is “no,” maybe we should chat about how we can restore that trust, rebuild a pattern of successful follow through and be the leader you were meant to become!
Question: How do you make sure you follow through with your commitments?