Characteristics of Credible Leaders
The majority of employees do not trust their leaders. A leader is one who knows the way and shows the way. Evaluating and forming opinions about you as the leader, employees see you in a different light than you see yourself. The specific characteristics or qualities you show demonstrate your credibility and how you are with your employees. Some leaders could care less about how employees see you. On the other hand, your employees demonstrate greater productivity if they trust you.
“Credibility is a basic survival tool.” -Rebecca Solnit
Instead of having a “circular file” outside your door for suggestions, you actually read each suggestion and sometimes want to discuss them with the specific employee who submitted them. Credibility is built over a lifetime but can be lost in a moment.
“The important thing is to do the right thing. Then credibility will follow.” -Henry A. Kissinger
Composure refers to having the ability to maintain your self-control, especially when you are faced with stressful or unexpected situations. Remaining cool, calm and collected when under pressure, and knowing how to resolve the situations you face is a proactive approach your employees admire you for.
Characteristics of Credibility
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” -Warren Buffett
You can be a trusted, high-performing leader by adopting some simple but powerful habits. Credible leaders are confident about the abilities of people and know how to delegate effectively. These leaders acknowledge that people become more engaged and committed when they are trusted.
Credible leaders walk the talk and make their actions speak louder than their words–they deliver what they promise. Leaders with established credibility are respected and trusted. Credibility is earned by daily actions leaders take over time. It does not come automatically with the job or the title.
Behaving in ways that cause people to see you as credible, you practice what you preach. You follow through on their promises. Build your bonds of respect and trust with those around you.
“It is never too late to regain our credibility around the world.”
Credible leaders are life-long learners. You know there is always something new to learn or ways to view situations with new eyes. Credible leaders are continually learning to expand their knowledge and expertise. These leaders lead by example and recognize the importance of ongoing education to help them achieve what is required and more.
By being open and honest you build a foundation of trust. Getting true actual feedback from employees and taking action on those things. You don’t have to know all the answers. Ask your employees as they may have the answers. When you trust them on that, your credibility and theirs goes up.
You are respectful: Credible leaders don’t insult, manipulate, or humiliate anyone publicly or privately. These leaders are aware that respect is key in gaining people’s loyalty and respect in return. Credible leaders remain true to themselves and watch out for the interests of others. These leaders are supportive and really care about people–this is what helps gain reciprocal loyalty.
You show that you are honest: Credible leaders are transparent with their actions and have no hidden agendas. Their actions are consistent with their words.
You demonstrate that you are competent: Credible leaders possess much more than a basic understanding of their field. These leaders are experts at developing multiple solutions to problems and situations they are faced with.
They are accountable: Credible leaders take full responsibility for their actions and decisions. These leaders accept when they make a mistake and do everything that is needed to amend it in a prompt manner. Be confident enough to admit you don’t have the answers.
“As you become more successful, the gender barrier disappears. The credibility challenges you have during your growing up years starts disappearing when you start demonstrating success.”
– Kigan Mazumdar Shaw
Results are what matters. Teams and leaders are judged on their ability to deliver on the mission. Leaders gain credibility with their teams and with Leadership when they deliver results. Your credibility is based on a combination of characteristics. Your actions align with your actions. Your credibility means you – do what you say you will do. This takes place both in your personal life and your business life.
Ask yourself, Do you have leadership credibility?