Less than three percent of companies successfully complete all of their projects. This is largely due to the fact that employees are not psychologically engaged. This lack of engagement is often directly linked to how much employees can relate to their company credibility.
Employees look to their leaders to be the embodiment of this company credibility, and therefore credibility is everything in the leadership role. Your role as a leader is entirely determined by the ability of your followers to believe in you. It can seem a daunting task at first, but luckily there are some simple ways to make profound improvements in your personal credibility.
Building Company Credibility
Build Credibility by Building Character
Your value as a leader will largely be determined by your personal character. As such, it is important that you actually have a well-defined character. Take time for yourself; figuring out what your core values are. What are the moral “lines in the sand” which you will never cross? What are some areas you have a strong opinion about? Are you very opposed to social injustices, pollution, or sexism in the workplace? Take a stand on these issues.
Even if your beliefs go against the popular opinion, you will gain credibility by simply standing up for these issues. This decision shows you are ready and willing to commit to what you believe in; which is a strong determining factor in how your employees will follow you.
Integrity is Credibility
That said, your integrity is one of the most important factors in your role as a leader. If you take a public stand on an issue, you can rest assured your employees are looking to see if your behavior lines up with your words. If you take a public stand on going green, yet drive a large truck one mile down the road for lunch every day; your credibility dwindles in the eyes of your employees.
This applies to all aspects of the leadership role; leaders must ensure that their actions match their professed beliefs. It is all a part of effective communication. As the father of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, put it: “You are what you do. Not what you say you’ll do.”
Communicate Clearly and Be Accountable
The leadership role can be difficult to master; you are guaranteed to slip up now and again. When you do, it is important to take three immediate steps.
First, admit to yourself and to your employees that you’ve made a mistake. Inexperienced leaders commonly see this as a weakness, as though a proper leader shouldn’t make mistakes. In reality, your employees will respect your accountability and value your clear communication in the face of adversity.
The second step is to take action to fix the situation. For example, say a team you were managing failed to meet an important deadline. After holding yourself accountable; communicate exactly how you will ensure that these deadlines will be met in the future.
Lastly, and most importantly, move on. Do not cling to past failures; instead, use them to fuel future successes. Not only does this boost the company morale at large; but employees themselves will be less afraid to work hard; knowing that if they do fail, their leader does not cling to mistakes of the past. This leads to an open and a stress-free work environment.