E-couragement: Follow Through

October 15, 2012

“When you get right down to the root of the meaning ‘succeed,’ you find that it simply means to follow through.”  F. W. Nichol

It was 2010 when my wife, Ivy, and I made a commitment during our yearly trek to our vacation mecca—Asheville, NC. This particular trip included a memorable encounter with the inspiring and hyper creative artist Jonas Gerard. After our visit to his gallery, I wrote a blog about the experience and how he had impacted both Ivy and me. Traveling east on I-40, with the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains in our rear view mirror, we decided to one day return and purchase our own original Gerard. Two years after that wonderful vacation and nine-months after Ivy’s death, it’s time to follow through.

In the engagement work with my clients we talk extensively about fundamental principles. There’s nothing sexy about fundamentals. As a matter of fact, they can be downright boring. Yet it’s in the midst of applying certain fundamental principles that change happens and success occurs. One of those principles is follow through (yep, nothing sexy about that). Simply put, follow through is acting upon what you already know to do.

When your commitments lack follow through there’s often a common language pattern. It sounds like, I certainly should… I would do that if… If I could I’d… The proverbial shoulda, woulda, coulda. When you are determined to follow through on your commitments the language is quite different. It sounds more like, I am… As in, I am coaching my direct reports each month. I am listening more intently to my children. I am asking for and receiving feedback. See the difference? Language can reveal your true intent. The language of follow through is powerful and action oriented.

Jonas with Rich and his new painting

Evidence proves that I’ve had my share of lost opportunities. Times where I simply didn’t follow through. Not this time. Not now. Today I am in Asheville NC and I’ve spent almost three hours with Jonas Gerard and his staff at their studio buying a beautiful painting. I am headed home to hang it in my living room; Ivy would be so pleased. Living and working in an engaging manner means following through on what we already know to do.

Leave your comments: When have you followed through on an important commitment in your work or personal life? What was the result?

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16 Responses to “E-couragement: Follow Through”

  1. Rich, great message here, thank you for sharing this experience with us!

  2. My pleasure Phillip. Appreciate your encouragement my friend.

  3. Rich, I know that was a great day following through with a plan. That painting will be cherished for many years to come. Your news letter always inspires.

  4. Thank you brother Tony. It was a great day. Give my regards to the fine folks at TDS!

  5. Rich,
    I know we can’t see Ivy, but I know many of us feel her presence in this photo. Congrats on the follow through.

  6. You’re right Jimmy, her presence was palpable. It was because of her that I’ve come to appreciate and love art. Hope you’re doing well friend. Look forward to reconnecting before long.

  7. Rich,

    Very inspiring lesson today. Congratulations on following through and may that picture bring back many fond memories of your time with Ivy.

  8. Rich,

    Your insight that “I am…the language of follow through is powerful and action oriented” struck me hard. Is this possibly why “I Am” has always been my favorite name for the Lord our God?….

  9. Nicely done, Rich. Can’t wait to see that beauty hanging in your house! Appreciate the encouragement to honor our commitments to ourselves.

  10. Follow through can be a challenge. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. @Keri, thank you. Always appreciate your encouragement since we’re both part of this “club.” Continued positive thoughts to you on your journey.

  12. @Cheryl, “I am” is a very powerful phrase. It seems to have its roots in the Divine residing in all of us. Glad this struck you in such a meaningful way.

  13. @Jerome, looking forward to sharing its energy and the story behind it. Here’s to utilizing our “follow through” power!

  14. @David, my pleasure friend. It’s as much a reminder for me as it is for others!

  15. Rich – moved and inspired!

  16. Laura, how nice of you to write that. Thank you.

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