Let me ask you a question. How often do you say you will do things that you don’t do? Are you someone who says something meaning the other and doing altogether something else? If the answer is yes, then you are going to fall as a leader very soon. Credibility is built on trust. To cultivate credibility, you must build trust, earn trust, and get people to trust you. I don’t know which industry you are currently working in, and that does not matter. If you are reading this blog, I assume that you are already a leader or aspiring to be a leader. I want to remind you that irrespective of your industry, a leader is always in the trust business. Communication is the key to generating trust. A trustworthy leader knows how to communicate with his followers sincerely and consistently. From my personal experience listening to and understanding what others have to say before giving advice or providing direction makes a huge difference.
One of my direct reports often says to me, “I will get that to you today without fail,” and then he doesn’t. I know that he is guilty of committing this sin repeatedly. If someone is doing this time and again, then they’ve got a credibility problem. If you’re not sure you can follow through on a promise, please don’t make it. When you say you will get back to someone in 30 minutes, you must go back to them in 30 minutes. Period. When you say, you will present the project report in 2 days, show up and present the report in two days. Period. Trustworthiness is also about being diligent at work. One of my staff members gets lots of personal calls at work. His mailbox is always filled with emails from friends or receipts from internet shopping. It’s time for him to realize that he has a credibility problem when personal matters start to interfere with his job or even appear to do so.
If you want to gain your credibility as a leader, you must ensure little things are taken care of because little things do matter. First, you must practice the DWYSYWD rule. It means – “Do what you say you will do.” As a leader, you must always remember one thing. If people don’t believe in the messenger, they won’t believe the message. It simply means gaining trust is the essential thing to become a good leader. If you don’t DWYSYWD, then your people will trust you less, and you will also end up trusting yourself less. So now my question to you is – do you do what you say you will do?
I always believe in people, expect the best in others, and enjoy being around people. I always operate on the principle that most people want to do the right thing and give people room to succeed rather than being skeptical. Your credibility multiplies when you keep the best interests of the people around you all the time.
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