How often do you let emails or phone messages pile up before you communicate back? Have you ever had a business meeting with a customer, but never followed up with them? Or committed to do something but never followed through with it?
What if Tiger didn’t follow through with his shot? How about you at work?
These are issues we all face at one time or another. So, what’s the big deal? Read what our guest blogger, Michael Dodd, former University of Arkansas ASG president, WorkMatters Kairos alumni, and now a Walmart associate in the Merchandise Leadership Program, has to say on this subject…
The Sundown Rule was Sam Walton’s twist on that old adage “why put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” It is still an important part of the Walmart culture and is one reason Walmart is so well known for its customer service. The observation from the Sundown Rule means that Walmart strives to answer requests by sundown on the day they receive them, following through in a big way.
I have learned a few lessons in the workplace as a young associate, but none has stuck with me more so than the importance of following up and delivering what you say you’re going to do. Through many failures and successes, I’ve seen the power that following up has in defining my competence, trust, and in some cases, integrity. I’ve also seen how it can mean a lot to spiritual growth opportunities, as well.
But at what point do you put emails before quality time with others? At what point does it take too long to answer emails, and you just stop answering? Think about this…
- While email communication is losing value, God desires us to be excellent in our work and in our communication and replying to requests or just shooting a quick “nice to meet you” is something that sets the tone for a relationship.
- The ability to follow up can add more value to a career or relationship than nearly anything else, by simply being intentional to follow up and doing it in a timely manner.
- Following up on prayer requests is something that God has been pointing me to do more and more – and revealing his ability to answer prayer can be a great testimony to his power!
- Following up to set a relationship in motion that could be kingdom-oriented is exactly how you make work a calling.
“For he says, ‘in a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2
The more we follow up, the more we are able to influence lives for the Lord. And when we’re too busy to follow up with everyone, we should seek the Lord’s counsel on how best to spend our time.
Mike Duke recently spoke to a UA class that I visited, and passed on this last piece of advice to those of us that were there: “Be trusted first; deliver what you say; when you make a promise, keep it.” As we look toward our Heavenly boss, let us strive to follow up: “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” John 17:4
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