Make It Personal: Your Credibility Is Anchored In Character And Integrity

Personal credibility is based upon a leader's character and integrity and the actions and behaviors that stem from them. Far from perfect, many of the influential American leaders I surveyed possessed character flaws and displayed at times, questionable ethical behaviors. Yet their personal credibility remained intact.

So it is safe to ascertain that perfection is not humanly expected and attainable as a leader, but self-awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses is essential. It reflects both maturity and authenticity, which only then serves to enhance a leader's personal credibility.

An observance of the absence of self-awareness resulted in a strong emergence of arrogance and hubris that diminished and ultimately destroyed credibility on all levels.

Obviously unless problematic or weak leaders make concerted efforts to change their character and integrity, they remain unalterable. However leaders do have control over the actions, behaviors, and decisions that influence and shape their personal credibility.

This once again involves self-awareness as well as comprehensive critical thinking abilities to examine the consequences of both their long and short-term actions. All leaders have choices, but the right choices demand a leader's willingness and acquiescence.

Leaders must also be cognizant of their levels of personal credibility on all of their key constituencies. In the current environment where short-term profitability is emphasized, many leaders damage their credibility by only focusing on their shareholder expectations at the expense of their other constituencies.

My research demonstrates this can be fatal. The leaders listed "Worst CEOs of All Time" by Portfolio Magazine commonly practiced it. As evidenced within the Legitimacy Principles, this imbalance ultimately leads to a loss of validity.

The Legitimacy Principles enumerate the linkages of leaders' legitimacy, credibility, trust, and a balance of emotional standing and bonds with all key constituencies. The synergetic relationship between these key factors of success is the foundation of effective leadership and provides insight into a new definition of it.

The fundamental essence of leadership is legitimacy, whose substance is based upon authority and validity. While authority is conferred, validity is earned through the development of credibility, trust and a balance of emotional standing and connections with all key constituencies.

The presence of the Legitimacy Principles endow leaders with the authority to lead, manage, execute, empower, effectively communicate, sell their vision, generate a passion for success, and overcome adversity. Their absence results in ultimate failure as an effective leader.

What can we learn from these leaders' example and apply to our lives? In summary, the following recommendations are suggested:

  1. Develop an awareness of your personal strengths and weaknesses including a frank assessment of your character and personal levels of integrity.
  2. Determine how these affect your personal credibility.
  3. Identify what actions, decisions, and behaviors you can change.
  4. Develop a habit of assessing the impact and consequences of your actions on your personal credibility.
  5. Change what you can, and manage and control what you can't.
  6. Remember this is an evolutionary process and not a singular event. History shows that individuals evolved into becoming great leaders over the span of their entire careers.

For many it was a struggle.

It is important to remember that no leader is an island that functions in isolation. Nor is the individual the first one to encounter problems associated with building his or her credibility. Universally, the leaders surveyed all struggled with this issue at one point or another in their careers.


Adapted From: Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It. Contact Timothy Bednarz at timothy.bednarz@majorium.com or call 715-342-1018.

Published: March 13th, 2013

Share this Feature

Recommended Reading:

Comments:

comments powered by Disqus
Firehouse Subs
SPONSORED CONTENT

FRANCHISE TOPICS

Top Opportunities »

ProSource Wholesale
ProSource is America's largest wholesale home improvement franchise; a truly unique B2B franchise model. Our owners enjoy strong cash flow with...
Cash Required:
$180,000
Request Info
RedBrick Pizza
At RedBrick Pizza (R), old world traditions meet new world recipes to create a better-for-you pizza experience. Baking pizzas to perfection at 1000...
Cash Required:
$200,000
Request Info
Discovery Point Child Development Centers®
• 30 years of brand strength in educational childcare • Only childcare franchise with a flat fee system (vs. fees based on % of your total...
Cash Required:
$300,000
Request Info

Subscribe »

Attend »

Conferences
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV
APR 3-6

Share This Page

Subscribe to Multi-Unit Franchisee Report

A Franchise Update Media Production
Franchise Update Media
P.O. Box 20547
San Jose, CA 95160
PH. (408) 402-5681
In Loving Memory Of Timothy Gardner (1987-2014)

Copyright © 2001 - 2018.
All Rights Reserved.