There has been much commentary about leadership published over the years and what makes a good leader. Now there is research, conducted over a number of years, that points to four qualities that enable someone to establish their credibility as a leader. They are honesty, respect, competence, and accountability.
Building credibility as a leader does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort, but it is essential if people are to trust a leader.
1. Being honest
Leaders make every attempt to be honest and transparent with their workers. Knowingly giving false information or keeping information from workers will quickly erode a leader’s credibility.
When making an important decision or implementing a new policy or procedure, a leader needs to be as open with his or her people as possible about the reasons for his actions. The leader needs to communicate what he is doing and why.
2. Showing respect
True leaders show respect for other people. They don’t disparage others in conversation or engage in petty gossip. Real leaders take the time to listen to people and understand their point of view. They show concern for others and demonstrate through their actions that they truly care about their people.
3. Demonstrating competence
Naturally, people don’t expect their leaders to have all the answers. But people establish credibility as leaders by continually working at it, always striving to learn more about the art and practice of leadership and how to do it effectively. That includes learning from their workers as well.
Good leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses and know when they need to ask for help. That is why a good leader never has an arrogant or imperious attitude. They know they have flaws like everyone else and are always working to improve.
4. Being accountabie
Good leaders take responsibility for their decisions. They never try to pass the buck. When they make an error, they acknowledge it and set about correcting it.
If you want to improve your leadership, you need to think about these four aspects of credibility and evaluate how well you exhibit them in your own life. Talk with colleagues and ask for feedback about how others see your credibility.