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  • Writer's pictureGregoriously Speaking


I was looking at a caricature that was given to me as gift from my staff when left my alma mater, St. Lawrence University. It pictured a cartoonish version of me sitting at my desk surrounded by my wonderful Alumni and Parent Program team. Each of us had word bubbles with personal catch phrases oft-issued during our time together. Mine said “Follow-up and follow through.”

These words have been a central part of my approach to life since I was a little kid learning the game of golf. One of my first instructors used it as a mantra for hitting a powerful drive. Your hands and arms follow your club face up to the sky in your backswing and then follow through the ball to your target for the perfect drive!

As professional development officers working hard to understand, capture and share the mission and vision of your organization, I offer you the same advice. Follow up and follow through…

We are in the unique position to get to know every facet of our institutions. We do so by participating in meetings, presentations and events with our leadership teams, faculty, staff, volunteers, donors, and beneficiaries. In our quest to see the big picture, we serve as a conduit and a connector between these many groups.

How many stories do you hear each week? How many ideas, thoughts, and perspectives are shared with you? How do you receive, consider and assemble the information that you learn at every turn?

With every interaction, you are refining your craft and, ultimately, becoming more valuable to your organization. Follow up on every good idea generated. Follow up with those who share their time, talents and treasures with you. Follow through on every opportunity to bring together the best of what you hear with proposals, acknowledgements, appeals, discussions, and information sharing to the great benefit of your institution! In the process you will earn the trust of your colleagues and donors by being the person who delivers consistently.

Are you ready? Follow up and follow through on every interaction and help to drive the mission and vision of your organization further than you ever imagined!

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