The Secret to Credibility, Influence, and Impact

A credibility gap ends influence and limits impact.

All that’s left – once credibility is lost – is the use of position and power.

According to Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® are:

  1. Model the way.
  2. Inspire shared vision.
  3. Challenge the process.
  4. Enable people to act.
  5. Encourage the Heart.

Model the way:

All five practices are essential.

Credibility, influence, and impact require you to model the way.

Expel every thought that leadership includes ease or personal exemption. “Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.” Peter Drucker

Real leaders expect more from themselves than they expect from others.

“Those who enjoy responsibility usually get it; those who merely like exercising authority usually lose it.” Malcolm Forbes

#1. Model the way with accountability:

Authority apart from accountability is abuse.

If you expect people to be accountable to you, be accountable to them.

“Go into every interaction with those who work for you believing that you are as accountable to them for your performance as they are to you for their performance.” Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, and author of, “The Open Organization.”

Jim Whitehurst on a leaders accountability to employees:

#2. Model the way with personal development:

“Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach.” Rosabeth Moss Kantor

  1. Share what you are learning with team members.
  2. Speak openly about the leadership skills and behaviors you’re developing.
  3. Engage with a coach and mentors.

#3. Model the way with commitment:

Commit to others before asking them to commit to you.

“If you want to get an emotional commitment from the people who work for you — or with you, or with whom you have business relationships — you need to be willing to commit to them too, unsolicited and without direct hope of reward.” Jim Dougherty (HBR)

  1. Make personal investments in people. Mentor and coach team members.
  2. Walk around with an open heart, even while driving for excellence.
  3. Know and understand the stresses others feel. Say things like, “This must be stressful for you.” (Insert the appropriate word.)

#4. Model the way with feedback:

Seek feedback if you expect to effectively give feedback.

Don’t ask silly ambiguous questions like, “How am I doing?” Seek focused feedback.

Credibility requires you to go first.

In what ways would you like to see leaders modeling the way?

*I relax my 300 word limit on weekends.