If there is one thing that matters most for Leaders; its ‘Credibility’. Leaders who have credibility also have the voice of authority. How much authority they wield is dependent on what they have to offer to their people.
Building your leadership credibility is a long process but actioned in small doses. It’s a reflection of your ‘character’ – the values and behaviors you exhibit and the ‘competence’ – the knowledge, skills and experience or past track record you bring to the table. The strength of these two aspects is what builds the trust in the people you lead. Both need to be together, having one without the other may not help build credibility. For example, you may come across as humble, honest, consistent and with high morals however, when you want your people to achieve something or lead them towards goals, your credibility suffers if you do not back it with past track record. The same applies vice-versa as well. You may have great track record but if it is not built on the strength of values, it may lead to lack of trust in the teams you lead.
How do you then enhance your leadership credibility? The following steps may kick-start the process.
- Be consistent in your behavior
- Be comfortable in your vulnerability. Demonstrate that you are comfortable with what you cannot do. Talk about it openly.
- Be transparent
- Keep your promises and commitment
- Be honest
- Show active interest in understanding people – listen
- Spend time talking to people
- Say ‘I don’t know’ when you truly don’t
- Constantly upgrade your skills and knowledge
- Pursue goals relentlessly
As you can see, the 10 points are not very difficult to action, it requires your intent to enhance your leadership credibility. Remember, that is what matters most!