by Marius Meyer


20 Actions for Building your leadership credibility

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Leadership credibility is one of the most important success factors for leaders in business, government and other organisations. It takes years and even decades to build up your reputation based on your credibility, but you can destroy it in seconds if you make a serious mistake for which people will not forgive you such as telling a lie or being involved in a major scandal. The challenge for leaders is to work on your credibility and to behave in such a way that your credibility is continuously advanced in the workplace.

Here are some guidelines that could be useful in building your leadership credibility:

  1. Use an empowering and supportive leadership style when working with employees to get results in the workplace.
  2. Set clear work goals and act with purpose to achieve these goals.
  3. Show commitment and enthusiasm towards your work.
  4. Demonstrate commitment to quality performance.
  5. Adapt your style and practices according to changing circumstances where necessary.
  6. Adapt to change or stress by committing to a personal vision and selecting appropriate alternatives.
  7. Act consistently on a clearly articulated, principle-based approach aligned to company values.
  8. Deliver on your promises consistently.
  9. Maintain consistency in treatment between individuals and between groups.
  10. Stand up assertively for the right thing.
  11. Ensure that your strong opinions are based on proper homework and well thought-out positions.
  12. When necessary confront people directly and deal with conflict in a constructive manner.
  13. Anticipate problems before they occur and plan accordingly.
  14. Adopt an activist approach to dealing with something that is wrong or when action is needed to make things happen.
  15. Drive forward with a strong belief that your actions can make a difference even if the odds are against you.
  16. Apply your mind independently, in other words think for yourself.
  17. Show tolerance and flexibility for the values, opinions and needs of others.
  18. Reinforce positive behaviours by acknowledging achievements.
  19. Adopt a continuous learning attitude, not only towards others’ learning, but also your own learning.
  20. Create an environment where people feel comfortable to exercise their personal power and taking responsibility for their actions.

It is very important for leaders to have a high level of credibility in everything they do. Considering and implementing the above 20 actions will assist leaders in building their credibility. Once people trust you, it is even more important to maintain your credibility. A good track record sets the benchmark for your behaviour and the expectations people have from you. Living up to those expectations is that makes the difference in maintaining your credibility as a leader.

Marius Meyer is CEO of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP) and author of 21 books for Juta, Van Schaik, Lexis-Nexis, Knowledge Resources and more than 300 articles for magazines such as HR Future, HR Voice, Talent Talks and Achiever Magazine. Leaders will receive daily updates on progress with the development of the Leadership Standard, they can use the hashtag #LeadershipStandard and follow SABPP on twitter @SABPP1 or Talent Talks on @talenttalksnet or by visiting the website

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Issue 414


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