My Perspective #67:”Just a simple follow-through.” Let me explain

When I used to think about “follow-through,” I mostly thought about in the form of sports.

• A nice follow-through on my bat swing: watch the ball hit the bat and keep hitting through the ball

• A confident follow-through on my jump shotPut your shooting hand in the basket

• A fluid follow-through on running hurdles in track: get that lead leg down quickly and pull the trail leg through to keep running

• An intentional follow-through on my throwing arm in bowling: guide my thumb over my shoulder (which was a struggle last night suffering two tough defeats against a good friend)

• A firm follow-through on my tennis serve: punch the ball over the net

• A solid follow-through on my boxing jab. Don’t just punch the target, punch through the target

Forgive the over-exemplifying, but I played a lot of sports growing up. The mechanical “one-liners” that were hammered into me as an aspiring athlete make more sense to me now than they did then. That is probably why I never went pro. Yeah, that’s it.

Although I still practice many of the above sports, I pay extra attention to the whole “following-through” thing. The setup and delivery are very important, yes, but each are rendered useless without an effective follow-through.

I can have the most precise serving lob toss in my tennis game that would intimidate a would-be opponent, but what good is it if the strike and follow-through of the ball result in an embarrassing shank or fault after fault?

Now as a leader, businessman, friend, husband and daddy, the premise of following through is the same, in essence, but carries more weight, obviously. The words spoken to my employees, my friends, my wife and my child are meaningless without legitimate & deliberate follow-through. 

If I don’t follow through on my bowling, I may be forced to deal with a 7-10 split. But if I don’t follow through with the people around me, now my credibility and integrity are at stake. It’s easy to shrug off a missed spare, albeit super annoying, but it’s downright hard to regain trust, confidence and credibility.

Now, no one expects me to do everything, obviously, but they do expect me to do everything that I say I’ll do. On the same token, no one expects me to do everything “perfectly,” but they do expect me to do things thoroughly and completely. Their expectations of concerted follow-throughs are well within their rights.

If you catch yourself not fulfilling obligations, or not following through on things you say you’ll do, big or small, consequential or inconsequential (psst, nothing’s inconsequential), then reverse course!

No need to make a big to-do about it.

It’s just a simple follow-through.

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