Volume 17 Number 5 - May 7, 2019

Follow Up Matters

I just returned from a dual-purpose trip to Kansas. Both visiting my 88-year-old mother and attending a Cohen Honors College board meeting at Wichita State University were fun and educational experiences.

Through the board I am meeting WSU graduates and professors I'd never met before and learning from each of them. Most of them live in the Kansas area.

While some of my high school and undergraduate classmates remain near Wichita, I didn't visit any of them. I've not done a good job of staying in touch. Moving around the country the last 45 years has created many new friends, but I have missed out on what maintaining some of those old friendships could have added to my life.

I did, however, visit a few of my parents' friends who now live in senior centers. One of the gentlemen is 99, the other 96. They enjoyed sharing stories with me; stories that were fascinating.

The elder gentleman had been a pilot with his own plane. One of his sons flew in the Air Force following graduation from the Academy, and then flew planes for NASA. I saw pictures of a plane with one of the shuttles sitting atop; his son was about to fly it from San Antonio east. We talked about the 1986 Challenger disaster and his son's role in transporting the families of those killed.

The other man recently stepped off the board of a local bank. We talked about how he had started and run it for years before retiring to a board position, and is now "merely a stock holder." He shared how difficult he found the decision to quit driving and give his cars to his daughter, but that in retrospect the only difficult part was giving up his independence.

Each of us chooses who to stay in contact with. Typically, who falls out of our life is more default than decision.

Think about a few former coworkers that you truly enjoyed but haven't connected with in years. Why not reach out to them to share how important they were to you. You'll make their day, and perhaps your own as well.

Think about a few former customers and suppliers that slipped away. Why not check in on them? Perhaps you can help them or they can help you again. Or maybe you can simply reconnect.

Adding value to the market, to your company, to your own life and to the lives of others is not a straight line. It's not always easy. But it is doable. Sometimes we simply need a reminder of how simple and important follow up can be. And the will to invest a few minutes in making it happen.

The Starting Pistol

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do."

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"..Follow up, follow through, or continue those things that bring joy, and do so using just the amount of energy they deserve. Then discover, or rediscover, additional sources of personal growth and do the same with them."

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