“Womack,” my baseball coach yelled, “Run through the base every time.” I remember like it was yesterday.
Watch a baseball game long enough to see a player hit the ball and run through first base. Then, think about the connection to learning: You’re done after you finish, not as you finish.
In the learning world, seeing something “through to the end” is a valuable leadership skill. Two examples of “running through first base” are:
1. Researching a quote.
2. Following up after meetings.
Does your presentation include a quote by someone famous?
Years ago, a seminar participant asked me: “Who was that person you quoted?” My heart sank as I admitted I didn’t know. She shook her head and said, “Why didn’t you spend a little extra time researching it?
Now, when I find a new quote to use, I spend a few extra minutes learning something about the person who said it.
Soon after you finish a meeting, two things are about to happen:
1. Everyone forgets the finer details of the discussion; and
2. Everyone prepares for their next meeting.
After a meeting, you have a unique opportunity to make a lasting, positive impression. Wait too long, and you miss the opportunity. Follow up in a meaningful way.
Build a follow up plan for each meeting or presentation. Schedule time to debrief your notes and reach out. The mark of a leader is the ability to “see something through.”
Practice it as a learning leader and watch how people respond.