What’s Your Influence Bank Balance?
If leadership is about influence, then influence is about credibility. There are a variety of descriptions and diagrams about the dynamics of influence, but all start from a position of credibility between the influencer and the influenced. How does one get to be credible?
Bill Zipp defines credibility as the combination of two factors – character and consistency. Character is the sum of the core values that drive your life and affect your decisions no matter what the situation. You can tell people what these things are but character as a whole is not always immediately visible and may take time to resonate with people who are deciding to follow you. Consistency is visible and reflects how well you have aligned what you say with what you do. The more visibly you lead, the more glaring the divergences between what you say and what actually happens.
Credibility is a habit that can be developed. When you practice what you preach, you let your actions speak for themselves. Honor your word. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. Be real. Bravado and head games are not for leaders. Be accountable and recognize achievement. Say sorry when you’re wrong. Admit mistakes openly and honestly. And, as Winston Spencer Churchill said, “Never, ever, ever, give up”. Cling to the courage of your convictions, even when things get tough.
Ready to influence yet? Check your credibility gauge, and then, “let’s get started!”