Credibility: “the quality or power of inspiring belief” (webster)
Credibility may be the single most important thing a leader possesses in order to effectively lead. During the past 12 months I’ve learned the hard way this lesson, that on the surface seems obvious, but to those of us who suffer from inflated egos, can be a crippling blind spot …
Credibility is a non-transferable asset.
When you move from one group, team, division, or company to another, you start over. You start over … if you’re smart. If you’re blind to the fact that credibility is a non-transferable asset, you assume that these new people who you need to develop relationships of trust with will pick up with you where your former group, team, division, or company left off. Or, you assume that the new group, team, division, or company will quickly see in you what the former did. It doesn’t work that way.
So, what inspires belief? For me, a leader’s true intention must be made clear. Second, his/her actions must match that intention. Third, those actions must lead to the desired results.
Some questions I wish were more front and center for myself this last year …
* Am I taking the time with each individual to articulate my intention and related plans?
* Am I acting as though I already have their trust prematurely (i.e., making unilateral decisions, trusting that they will buy-in b/c the decision is coming from … me)?
* Am I holding myself accountable for the results?
The number of initials that follow your name, the resume, the references … they get you through the door. But, once you’re in, you START OVER at earning the credibility of those you lead and those that lead you … if you’re smart.