Follow Through and Follow Up – A Toastmaster Area Director’s Diary
For a period of five years, I was the Regional Controller of what became a very successful remote team of New Look Area Managers. The success was theirs and theirs alone. They were the guys that followed though the actions that as a team we agreed. And they were the ones who followed up activities they delegated to their own teams.
It didn’t happen over night and in the early months, until I found my feet as their boss, it looked like it wasn’t going to happen at all. I mistakenly had assumed that, since they were experienced Area Managers, I could ‘just’ let them get on with it without any interference from me.
How wrong! With a change of leadership they so wanted to know my expectations, my style and my wisdom. Whilst they didn’t ‘need’ it they ‘wanted’ a managerial frame of reference. My enlightenment came when I read Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model. I shared my new knowledge with the team and apologised for my error of judgement. Over the following 18 months, together we explored how we could use this model to manage. In the end, they empowered themselves.
Follow Through and Follow Up became a mantra – it probably sounds like the complete opposite to empowerment. However, this wasn’t about power or control, it was about:
Credibility – delivering what you said you were going to do
Recognition – catching people doing things right
Mitigation – supporting those who needed extra help to achieve
It sounds very much like Toastmaster’s Leadership doesn’t it?
I believe TTM – tiny things matter. When we get many small things right the cumulative effect is overwhelmingly positive. However, when we are leading and/or managing a team from afar it is not easy to notice small things. I’d like to enlist your help to keep the doors of communication wide open.
We have the EasySpeak site, the Area Facebook Page and club Facebook Pages of course, all are great places to celebrate small milestones that matter. They are also great places to share the TTM best practices. So if you have done something worth sharing then pray tell – it may scratch someone else’s itch … so to speak!