Why Great Leaders Always Follow Up

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By Jas Singh

We live in a world that is busier than ever before.

Technology allows us to work from anywhere. Competition increasing every single day. Constant shifts in requirements. Unlimited choice.

Yet within this fast paced world something seems to have gone wrong.

People have forgotten their manners.

As a recruiter I’ve noticed that the biggest frustration candidates have today is how often they are left with a lack of follow up. By both recruiters or by the hiring managers. How after spending their precious time speaking and meeting with others they literally are left out in the dark.

The same is true of other industries. We’ve all worked with clients who literally disappeared after we spent hours working for them. Or with colleagues who promised something yet never followed through.

In ten years as a hiring specialist I can say with confidence that the best leaders I have ever worked with always follow up. And usually very quickly.

Here are some reason why great leaders always follow up.

It shows they value their time

People who don’t follow up don’t respect other people’s time. But perhaps just as worse, it shows they don’t value their own time.

Going AWOL or taking days to respond to a simple email can only mean two things. Either that the person is overwhelmed and disorganized, or that the person wasn’t really seriously interested in the first place.

Both are not attributes of leadership.

We all have aspirations. We all have endless lists of things to do. The one thing none of us can create more of is time. It’s the most priceless and constant commodity each of us has.

Only those who use their time wisely can succeed.

Great leaders value their time.They realise it builds reputation

Even worse than wasting your own time is wasting another persons time.

Although it’s easy to do, not following up is the fastest way to destroy your reputation.

And in today’s increasingly connected world, as someone whose sole job is to manage people’s careers, trust me your reputation will soon become the only quality that will determine your success.

We develop opinions on others sometimes simply on how well we feel our time has been spent. The manager who always manages us to feel inspired for days on end just over a 15 minute coffee. The assistant who makes us achieve twice as much during the working day. The friend who totally changes our mood over dinner.

Likewise, and even more vividly, we resent those who who waste our precious time.

Getting by on brand name, past experiences of size of company no longer works. The world is too transparent now. People want to know more. It’s easy to find out more about anyone.

What matters is reputation.

Following up is not a nice touch. It’s a must.

Great leaders follow up to protect their reputation.

Today’s vendor is tomorrow’s client

Disruption in the business world has never been greater.

In ten years as a hiring specialist recruiting across multiple industries, I’ve seen some industries totally flipped on their heads.

Ten years ago, the wireless carriers used to dictate what features were available to customers. Now, (mainly due to the initial success of the iPhone) its driven by the providers.

Banks used to think payment technology companies were trying to steal their market share. Now, they’re desperate to partner with them.

Publishing and media companies used to beg high profile executives for an interview to provide an exciting cover story. Now, it’s executives themselves knocking on their doors trying to raise their own profiles.

Technology and globalisation is advancing so rapidly that it’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen next. The only way to make sure you can adapt is to never burn bridges.

Great leaders follow up so they can build strong relationships.

Today’s salesman can easily be tomorrow’s client.

Conclusion

No-one likes to be left hanging.

Following up promptly seems to be falling day by day.

Even though it’s never been more important.

Hiring managers can gain much from those people who use time efficiently, who respect others and who value their reputation.

Who know the importance of following up.

Who owes you follow up?

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