Leaders are responsible for making things happen, on-time and as scheduled. Superiors and subordinates don’t want excuses from their leaders, they want results.
When a leader makes a commitment to complete a task or accomplish a mission, follow-through is the guarantee that he provides to all stakeholders that gives them the confidence to believe that the job will get done properly.
How does a leader inspire this confidence? He does it by ensuring that what he commits to is exactly what he delivers, no exceptions. This means that he will ensure that the upfront requirements match the final results by focusing on the details of the task or project.
The ultimate responsibility for success or failure of a project resides with the leader, so it’s extremely important for the leader to know the current status and critical details of the project thoroughly. He must also be aware of any major problems or issues and he must be actively pursuing ways to overcome these issues. The leader has to ensure that every detail has been addressed and accounted for – this attention to detail is the hallmark of great leaders and great leaders always follow-through.
By following through, a leader can plug-in gaps in knowledge, confirm unknown information, and confirm or renegotiate previously agreed upon resources and timelines. People tend to have very short memories of the promises and commitments they make; following through helps to catch and resolve these situation or problems before they cause irreparable damage to the project or task.
By following through, a leader displays that she will do what she says she will do. Leaders keep their commitments and they are true to their word when they promise to get something done for someone else. Following through inspires confidence and trust within the people you work with by solidifying their belief that you can be entrusted with greater responsibility and authority.
The art of following through is a foundational method of success for the following reasons:
- Following though ensures thoroughness and faster completion;
- Following through shows that you are a finisher…a closer; you get things done;
- Leaders who follow through inspire subordinates to follow through;
- Follow through ensures streamlined and efficient execution.