Credibility. A Fundamental Trait to Being a Leader

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imageHarvard Business Review’s John Baldoni perhaps says it best, “Credibility is a leader’s coin of the realm. With it, she can lead people to the Promised Land; without it, she wanders in the desert of lost expectations.” (http://bit.ly/o7cy4W)

Why does credibility matter?  At it’s most fundamental level, it is a key, a key to people’s hearts, to unlocking their willingness to engage with you, to trust what you ask them to do is in their own benefit…and not just your own.

Thinking of credibility, two core components come to mind.  The first, just discussed, is credibility.  Learning to trust in those around you.  I discuss one aspect of this from a motorcyclist’s perspective, here.

The second component is your collective body of Actions. If you wish to be viewed credibly as a motorcyclist, it’s not in your best interest to be seen as someone who falls over, or crashes, their ‘cycle very often.

Crashes happen. To everyone.  It’s the frequency and nature of the event that can erode or improve your credibility.  Was it due to negligence, or, an attempt to do something worthwhile that failed (to work out)?  There’s a difference.

 

In a professional context, there are a few key contributors to credibility:

1)  Trust Do those you work with feel you have their interests in mind?
2)  Confidentiality Maintain it. Abuse it, you risk losing all.
3)  Principles Have some. Stand on them. Don’t compromise. They’re the calcium strengthening your backbone.
4)  Commitments Make one, keep one. Don’t make people chase you on them.
5)  Examples Lead by them. From the front.
6)  Essence Rolled together, you are what you eat—or what you deliver.
7)  Budgets Hold onto the reins, manage your spending, and Finance will believe you’re credible (which means you’ll have access to funding to do more than sing songs with your teams).

 

Credibility, it is a key enabler, a coin to the realm.  Find it, keep it, do what you can to never misplace it.

(photo credit)