Jim Kouzes, an author, teacher, and leadership training expert once wrote, “Credibility is the foundation of leadership. If we don’t believe in the messenger, we won’t believe in the message.”
If we lack credibility with our team members, and they don’t believe in our message, it will be nearly impossible to reach them. And if we can’t reach them, how can we motivate them to achieve their goals and the organization’s vision?
If credibility is so important as a foundation of leadership, how can we improve our credibility, and thus our leadership effectiveness? Credibility is defined as “the quality of being believed or accepted as true, real, or honest.” As leaders, the number one way to improve our credibility is to make our actions match our words. We have to “walk the talk.” When we talk about values like respect, teamwork, selflessness, accountability, etc., we must live these values and model them for our teams. When we commit in words to doing something, we then must follow through and make sure it gets done. We can also improve our credibility by being true and honest. Honesty can be conveyed by listening to our team members, responding to their concerns sincerely and genuinely, and being open and forthright about issues.
Credibility really is not that hard to build. Do what you say you are going to do. Be honest and open. Make sure your actions match your words. If you do these things, your credibility will increase, your team will believe your message, and team members will be motivated to do great things for you and the organization. So give it a try; start building your credibility this week!
Thanks for reading,
P.S. – Check out my website at http://www.jvearle.com and keep me in mind if you hear of any opportunities to share my thoughts on leadership.