A few weeks ago I was standing with a group of people, chatting after our small group lesson had ended. Several people had attended a one day conference, and were discussing the event. The name of one of the speakers came up, and immediately two people said, “Oh, I didn’t care for her.” I was curious as to why, so I asked. One didn’t connect with her presentation style. The other said, “She hasn’t learned this subject in her own life, so she doesn’t have the right to talk about it.”
She had no credibility.
As leaders, we have to build credibility in order to influence others and lead well. You can start by focusing on the 7 Qualities a leader must have. But what are some practical things that you can do today to build credibility as a leader?
Never say “it’s not my job.”
Be willing to step in and do anything. Seriously. Anything. That means if the bathroom needs cleaning, you do it. I’m not saying that you should always spend your time doing tasks, but you should never be unwilling to step in and do what needs to be done.
This one is simple. Do what you say you will do. Do it when you say you will do it. Over deliver and under promise.
Learn it yourself.
You can’t expect to do every job that someone on your team does. That’s why you have a team! But you can learn about every job. Be interested in what your team is doing. Spend a few days being an “undercover boss”. Spend time in the areas you have the least knowledge or understanding of, learning from the people who are experts at it.
Ask for feedback.
Let your team (and your leader) know that you want to be better than you are today. Keeping a coachable attitude keeps you from becoming unapproachable. Acknowledging that you have weaknesses shows that you are human, too.
Credibility can either grow or diminish with time. What can you do today to increase your credibility as a leader?