Most of us consider ourselves as being credible. But are you really? In the book, The Leadership Challenge, by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, the authors tell us from their extensive research that credibility is the foundation of leadership. Turns out employees and customers are paying attention to whether or not our words match our actions. It matters if we are honest, forward looking, inspiring and competent, which all point to our credibility. Credibility matters to our employees because they want to feel good about the organization they work for.
Employees want to be proud of the organization and when their immediate manager is credible, they are proud to tell others about where they work. They also have a strong sense of team spirit when the organization is credible. Employees want to align with the organization and it creates a great team environment. When the employee’s values and the company values match – it really matters. The employee is more engaged, feels attached and committed to the organization. It creates a sense of ownership of the organization – it is about “we” not “them.” So how do you create a credible organization? It’s all about “doing what you say you will do!”
What does credibility look like at your company? It looks like you practice what you preach, walk the talk and put your money where your mouth is! Sometimes the longest distance for us to walk is from our mouth to our feet! But your employees are watching – they are paying attention – and it matters. When your employees are proud of the organization they work for, they are more engaged, they make more sales, are more efficient, they come to you with ideas and they feel like a valuable part of your team. So how do you know if you are perceived as credible?
If you want to know if you are perceived as credible, talk to your employees. Ask them to honestly rate you on your credibility – hopefully they trust you enough to give you an honest answer. Another way is to pay attention to your talk – the promises you make. Are your actions consistent with your words? Make a list of the things you’d like to be known for, the values you hold dearly, what really matters to you. At the end of the day, take an inventory and see if your values match what you spent time on during the day and week. Credibility matters – and we all notice and judge credibility every day!