5 Ways to Build Leadership Credibility
The late Steven Covey had a great concept called “the speed of trust.” A person’s credibility will build trust, and when one fully trusts someone, it enables you to work with them more proficiently and productively than if you’re endlessly worrying about them and weighing their abilities. In brief, reliability makes a positive business difference.
Just as credibility is a key element of trust, it’s a fundamental element of efficient leadership. Equally, when someone is considered highly credible, they’re generally seen as an asset, a respected team player, someone you actually want to work with.
How does one become fundamentally “credible”? These are our top five:
Deliver results. This may look like stating the obvious but it’s worth reaffirming: Management is nothing if not a results-oriented endeavor. You have to deliver the results your business needs to gain business credibility. No results mean no credibility.
Transparency. Treating employees as though they are lesser beings incapable of understanding details undermines credibility. Sometimes, employees are every bit as intelligent as their admin team and believe us, they spend a lot of time watching their management closely. Transparency greatly matters, and there’s an abundance of research supporting it. So if you want credibility, you need to be straight with people or you’ll always be swimming against the current.
Don’t avoid tough decisions. It’s easy to manage when things are going great. However, it is not as simple when you face tough decisions. Making tough decisions amidst chaos takes practice but start here: In the absence of orders, take charge.
Show dependability. Employees respond well to consistent behavior from their management. Unpredictability can be disturbing. In an uncertain world, people understandably like things they can depend on. If they can count on you, it means people believe what you say and you’re credible. Simple as that.
Lead by example. This is often ignored and there’s no good alternative to it. If you don’t lead by example – if you “talk the walk but don’t walk the talk” – you’ll alienate more than motivate. Employees watch their management closely. If they conclude management is playing by its own set of rules, it kills credibility. If they conclude management is “more Catholic than the Pope” (as the saying goes), it builds credibility.
Leadership Credibility is always an invaluable asset. A company becomes more workable where there is high degrees of dependability. This is exactly the kind of leadership the digital age has enabled and will increasingly demand.
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