In recent conversations with church leaders in their 20's, I've noticed that the issue of credibility seemed to be a consistent source of difficulty and struggle. This post is for anyone struggling with building credibility among their colleagues.
Let's start by acknowledging that you will never be done building credibility. Even the leader at the top is building credibility, they just have a longer track record of doing it effectively. Imagine the ego it takes to assume that you have all the credibility you ever need, this is the seat of arrogance. The moment we cease building credibility is the moment it starts to deteriorate. Here are some ways you can start building and keep building.
"Our words can pave the way to our success. But they can also block our path."
- Michael Hyatt
It's been well documented that words matter, a lot. We must not assume that just because immediate action is not taken on our idea in a brainstorming meeting, that our input has not been heard. We must continue sharing ideas and showcase that we have the capacity to think critically and deeply.
Challenge yourself to encourage one person, give at least one piece of important information regarding your work, and ask one thoughtful question at your next meeting. Doing this will help others value your words, because they realize how highly you value your words and your colleagues.
"Don't show up to prove; show up to improve."
The regular work that we do on a daily basis creates a credibility transaction. At the end of each day, we either improve in the little things and made a deposit into our credibility account, or we slack on the details and make regular withdrawals. It's simple, the account does not grow when regular withdrawals are made. On the other hand, when we show up and improve on the little things, not only do we make deposits toward our credibility, others will follow. The result is an exponential growth in credibility over time.
When it comes to credibility, the growth takes time. This can be frustrating for young leaders, but relax, because if there's one thing that young leaders have more than older leaders...it's time! So show up and improve every day.
"Just imagine how much work you'd get done, if you stopped actively sabotaging your own work."
Quitting is the ultimate destroyer of credibility.
Are there good, valid reasons to quit? Sure. You and I can choose to quit at any time, but we do not get to choose how greatly our credibility may suffer because of it. But this is more than, "just hang in there"...that advice never helps. Let's try actively to see things differently.
Sometimes the only proactive thing that we can do when our work or our situation becomes frustrating is to change perspectives. To look at it from another angle. Ask the same questions, but ask them differently using a new perspective. I want to go on and on here, but I simply want to encourage you NOT to quit.
Tenacity is to credibility what Samwise is to Frodo. So don't sabotage your credibility by quitting.
Honor The Past.
It's rumored that college basketball coach, Thad Matta, sits his freshman class down in the middle of The Ohio State University basketball arena and asks them to look around at all the banners and accolades hanging from the rafters and on the walls. Matta says, "look around and see all of the success that is represented here...I want you to realize something. You had NOTHING to do with it."
Matta wants his freshmen athletes to know that if they commit to working hard that they will earn the same the success that past individuals and teams have demonstrated.
Leaders can build credibility when they honor the great things that the leaders that have gone before them have accomplished. The older leaders in an organization have put in the blood, sweat, and tears to get things where they are today. The next generation of success will require nothing less.
So, if you're interested in building credibility, you can start right now! Realize that your words matter. Show up to improve every day. Don't quit because quitting destroys credibility. Honor the leaders that came before you and aspire to have the same wealth of credibility that they have earned.
What do you think is the greatest barrier to building credibility?
What factors have you found helpful when it comes to building credibility?