Making a Difference – Weekend Reflections for Leaders

As we continue to work on building and strengthening our leadership, we all have a tendency to search for new insights or some new methodology on building trust, aligning our teams and leading through uncertainty, etc.  Pick your topic of interest on leadership and we are all searching for some idea to make the tough work of leading get a little easier on our path to accomplishing our goals.

There is one action item that time and time again comes up as a main ingredient to building trust, being an effective leader, enhancing execution etc.  However, it is one action item that does not get a lot of air time in today’s discussions on leadership as it is not as bright and attractive as some “new” method for effective leadership.

The discipline to follow-up on the large and small tasks being outlined during the routine cadence of running a business and leading a team forms the foundation for our long-term effectiveness as a leader.

We have all been there…

  • the running list of action items coming out of a meeting
  • the personal recognition of a service anniversary or major event for a teammate
  • the meeting that needed to get set up for next week
  • our list could go on and on…

Something on the long list of items gets missed and dropped in follow-up. The one-off occasional misstep can be understood and most teammates are forgiving for these occasional slips. However, it is the routine “dropping the ball” that causes most teammates to simply and silently “check-out” on supporting the leaders around them.

Follow-up is the glue, the mortar, the stickiness factor…whatever you want to call it that makes all the difference in our leadership being effective over the long term or just a good person for the moment. The day-to-day implementation of follow-up will set us apart over the arc of our careers. Consistent follow-up not only enhances our execution, but it builds the trustworthy support that our teammates deserve.

There is no need to over complicate things with a new shiny solution. If we can build the muscle memory and discipline to follow-up, we will form the foundation for all other aspects of leadership effectiveness that can make a positive impact.

As we look to build and strengthen our leadership, we must continue to work on our discipline to execute on the hard work of following up. We may be strong in so many aspects of leadership, but if we fall short on sustaining the consistency of follow-up, we run the risk of minimizing our leadership effectiveness and falling short of delivering the team results we are capable of delivering.   

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