‘Following through’ is the only way to build credibility, earn trust, and establish yourself as a leader. Without ‘follow through’, your credibility is suspect, your personal brand is damaged, and your leadership will be questioned.
As a business coach, I can say that the one issue that stops people from being successful is lack of ‘follow through’.
Wonderful ideas remain just wonderful ideas if there is no ‘follow through’. It’s similar to going out for six months with the girl you’ve fallen in love with but failing to ask her to marry you then being surprised when she becomes engaged to your best friend.
The excuses as to why ideas were not implemented are many: ‘I didn’t have time’; ‘I had to deal with other priorities’; ‘Too hard to put into practice’.
People tend to think that success happens on its own. Of course it doesn’t! There are always many hurdles to jump and many streams to cross in order to get to where you want to be. All too frequently, when the first challenge arises, there is no ‘follow through’ because the problem was unexpected and so the idea was just ‘kicked down the road’.
Many people when confronted with their first obstacle will make the excuse that they lack the necessary skills to proceed whereas, in fact, it is their own lack of commitment and resiliency that prevents ‘follow through’. It is always easier to blame others rather than admit our own failings.
So how can you stay motivated when the going gets tough?
First of all:
- Anticipate the ’holes in the road’: Be prepared and have the necessary action plans ready to go forward.
- Focus on one day at a time: Divide up your action plan into bite-sized chunks. Examine carefully at your short, medium and long term goals.
- Work on achieving targets that are realistic: Once you have your goals in priority order, then work through your list, one at a time.
- Maintain momentum: Do not allow yourself to be side-tracked. Keep your destination and ‘time of arrival’ in front of your mind, until you get there!
- Grow relationships: No person is an island and there can be nothing more important than having peer group support. Find people who you trust and whose opinion you value. They are an important part of the ‘follow through’ process that you need.
- Regularly update your action plan: No action plan should be ‘cast in stone’. It will invariably need to be amended as time goes on in order to meet changed circumstances, delivery dates or targets. You, yourself, need to be both focussed and flexible because life is not a straight line but a series of mountains and lakes that have to be negotiated with care and skill.
If you proceed one step at a time and with consistency, then you will have the greatest chance of meeting targets, achieving stated goals and being a success in your chosen field.