Whether you call it Follow-up or Follow-through, great managers get it done as their Ho‘ohanohano signature of distinction.
Conduct yourself with distinction
We’ve sparred about what that phrase means, and about what it reminds us of. We’ve shared our experiences with watching Ho‘ohanohano distinction come alive in various definitive, noteworthy actions.
All those talking story contributions considered, I’ve remained pretty steadfast with my choice on what the epitome of an Alaka‘i Manager’s distinctive conduct is as their Ho‘ohanohano signature. I love when they’re kind and compassionate; yes. I cheer when they display honesty and integrity; yes. I swoon when they know how to sincerely apologize and immediately aim to make things right; I really do. Yet the epitome, top of list for me, has always been when an Alaka‘i Manager has good follow-through.
They follow-up on what they say they will do, and they will do so over and over again, without fail. They err on the side of following up twice, rather than wonder if their first stab at follow-through was good enough for anyone who possibly could have been involved. For them, to not follow-up and not follow through well, is simply not an option.
These are the Ho‘ohanohano obsessed managers who consider multi-tasking a sin in random focus, half-a**ed work, and indifferent carelessness. There is no Next in view for them, until they’ve surpassed Finish Well with whatever is already on their plate, doing so with flying colors.
Those are the managers I adore (and will hire on the spot if I’m recruiting), for they are likely to have the focus and discipline they need to accomplish whatever else we will need to accomplish together—more than ‘likely,’ it’s virtually guaranteed they will. The hallmarks of their character are usually that they’re patient, they listen well, and they learn new things thoroughly. They ask really good questions, and they don’t hesitate to ask for help when need be—they will follow-up no matter the cost.
Make Follow-through your Superpower!
On a scale of 1 to 10, how’s your follow-up?
I admit mine can be better, even though I value it in others as much as I do (I’m probably a 7).
We can all work on improving our follow-up;
—Make simple actions like writing things down, and then reviewing your notes every few days, your habit.
—Get people to help you: Don’t hesitate to ask your coworkers and partners directly, “Is there anything you’re waiting on from me, or because of me?” Trust me, they’ll love you for it.
Lastly, pay it forward with recognition and appreciation: When someone follows-up in a way that impacts you favorably, let them know you noticed, and tell them you are grateful. As they say in supervisory training 101, acknowledge the good behavior you wish to see repeated—it’s another Ho‘ohanohano kind of thing.
Follow through on this reading, with a mini self-coaching module from the Managing with Aloha archives:
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Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawai‘i’s Universal Values to the Art of Business