Do you ever wonder what makes a leader credible? Credibility isn’t something you’re born with but a trait that’s built through hard work and long-term effort. A leader needs credibility to achieve the level of respect and loyalty they need to be effective. To make sure you’re on track to reach that goal, consider the following points:
Give respect to earn respect. Credible leaders understand the importance of treating people with respect—not because they expect it but because they deserve it. And when you give respect to others, they’re inclined to return it to you. Titles can be granted and positions are given, but respect is something you earn—and it’s one of the most significant elements of credibility.
Show consistency in your behavior. People respond well to consistency. Unpredictable leaders, on the other hand, are disturbing and disruptive. In an uncertain world, people understandably like things they can depend on. If your employees know they can count on you, you’ll be seen as a credible leader. It’s as simple as that.
Be true to yourself and others. There’s a surprising amount of power in being authentic and genuine. Leaders earn credibility and trust when they’re sincere about who they are and demonstrate that they’re willing to stand up for their values.
Communicate with transparency. It’s important to always be straight with people and to communicate with candor and a spirit of honesty. You don’t want people to hear or read your words and immediately wonder what you really meant. Honesty and openness go a long way in establishing and keeping credibility.
Extend trust to receive trust. Like respect, trust is best earned by being freely given. Credible leaders are quick to share trust, and in return they are trusted to lead.
Tell the truth. Credible leaders follow the voice of their personal integrity. They never fudge the truth to get out of a difficult situation or gain the upper hand in a negotiation. They don’t play games or hide unpleasant details to make themselves look good. Their word is as good as the truth.
Assume responsibility. Hold yourself fully accountable for your decisions and actions. When you make a mistake, own up to it and take the necessary steps to correct the wrong. Model unwavering integrity in every situation, and in turn you’ll receive not only credibility but also admiration.
At the bottom line, your credibility as a leader plays a huge role in determining whether people want to follow you or not, whether they respect you or not, and whether they’ll be loyal or not. It’s one of the greatest assets you can give yourself, with a value that extends beyond employees to influence customers, investors, your peers, and your community.
Lead from within: It’s easy to become a leader but difficult to become a credible one. It takes years of determined effort and doing the right thing to earn a high level of credibility, but the benefits are worth the effort.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.