Thursday, September 27, 2018

36 of 58 for 58: Follow Through and Follow Up

Ideally, I think long and hard before taking on commitments. I ask: what’s involved? Can I complete the necessary steps? Do I want to do them?

In other words, I ask myself if will I follow through. I define that process by asking and answering several related questions as follows:

  • Will I consider all available options to fulfill the commitment? Will I focus on those I consider most promising? 
  • Will I consult others, as deemed appropriate? 
  • Will I develop a plan with set deliverables and timelines to accomplish them? 
  • Will I monitor my results, and make any necessary corrections along the way?

If I can consistently answer yes to these questions, I will follow through.

But I know from experience it won’t necessarily be smooth sailing. I’ll hit roadblocks. Circumstances change, as will the availability of key players. I also may encounter pressing needs that demand my avid attention.

Hence the second big question I ask myself: will I follow up?

I understand the intent of follow up by asking and answering the following questions: 

  • Will I check in with others involved in the project? 
  • Am I willing to ask them difficult questions? 
  • Challenge them? 
  • Spend time dealing with unpleasantries? Be willing to go into the weeds if necessary to help the project along?

If I can consistently answer yes to these questions, I will follow up. I will daily take necessary action to fulfill my commitment?

When I follow through and follow up in the ways I’ve outlined, I will succeed in fulfilling my commitments. When I can’t or won’t, I run into problems.

Follow through and follow up. I need to pay attention to both to get things done. More important, both steps matter if I am to be viewed as a man of my word.  

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