Have you ever gotten whiplash at work because you simply can’t keep up with what exactly is expected of you? How did that impact your trust with that leader? Did you truly want to follow him or her?
Years ago I reported up to a person who would course correct before there was a problem and create a new priority before we could even get started on the last high priority directive. For those of us who are drivers, lemme tell ya…that was frustrating! Not only did we rarely get to experience accomplishment from being able to see something through, we were like hamsters on a wheel, wasting energy and not going anywhere as an organization. Needless to say, that leader lost a lot of credibility across the board and it showed: in the negative company culture and in the negative feedback shared with those outside of the organization.
So how can you be a credible leader?
*Be consistent not only with what you say, but in what you do. For example, when you lay out expectations be sure those are the same things you hold the person or group accountable to in the end.
*Don’t unnecessarily reverse decisions mid-stream. It frustrates people, and I assure you they will start analyzing your every decision with the b.s. sniff test. When your decision making is under constant scrutiny, mutiny is not far behind, be it going above your head or causing dissension in the ranks. This has an almost irreversible rippling effect.
*Commit to your direction and follow through to give everyone the opportunity to create success before going down new a rabbit trail.
*Be consistent in your leadership style. While we are all ever-evolving, the people you manage should have some level of predictability in your behaviors. They should be able to say with certainty “(s)he would never approve that” or “(s)he will be so excited when we present this!” No one wants to walk on egg shells and projects move forward faster when the team can anticipate your general reaction before presenting things for your approval.
What are the benefits of being a credible leader?
*People will trust you even when there IS uncertainty. Why? Because you’ve always shown consistency in the past.
*Team members will have the opportunity to see projects through to the end, knowing they either did or did not meet a pre-determined expectation that remained constant. This will then allow for celebration, the opportunity to learn from the full experience; and it importantly, it builds confidence through accomplishment.
*Like a child who knows and respects the family rules, team members will live up to that which you uphold as your values and guidelines for doing business. People remain on the same page, moving FORWARD in the same direction.
*When your team trusts you, feels accomplished and moves forward together in the same direction, YOU succeed! How about that. You benefit directly, too!
Obviously, it takes much effort and commitment to evolve into becoming your best version of a leader. So, now that you know what to do and what not to do, what steps are you going to take in the coming weeks to become an iron-clad credible leader?