You cannot walk without legs, and you cannot lead without credibility. Impossible. As credibility increases, so does a leader’s ability to influence and move others in a direction. As credibility diminishes, so does the leader’s ability to accomplish work through others because the others are losing trust in the person. So how does a leader build credibility, either when credibility has been lost or when more credibility is needed for future assignments and responsibilities? Here are six ways:
1. Solve problems.
Colin Powell stated that leadership is about solving problems. Without problems, leaders would not be necessary. By finding and solving problems, within the realm of your assignment, you build credibility for more assignments.
2. Execute on time.
The world is filled with people who over-promise and under-deliver, so those who do the opposite gain credibility. Execute what you said you would execute, on time, and credibility is built.
3. Develop others.
Those who develop others display one of the essential roles of a leader—preparing others for leadership. Help those you lead in their leadership and your credibility increases.
4. Provide clarity.
Marcus Buckingham said, “Effective leaders don’t have to be passionate. They don’t have to be charming. They don’t have to be brilliant… They don’t have to be great speakers. What they must be is clear.” Leaders who can provide clarity and communicate clearly build credibility as people long for a clear direction.
5. Be consistent over time.
Building credibility is less about one amazing day and more about consistency over time. To build credibility, continually show up, do your job with passion and care, and love people well.
Character struggles destroy credibility much more than competence struggles. And the only way to ensure your character does not implode is to repent over and over again, to die daily to yourself and follow Christ. As one grows in love, joy, peace, and patience, credibility increases.