Does your Leader trust you?
Do your Team Members trust you?
How do you know for sure?
“You are today where your thoughts have brought you;
you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”
– James Allen
I remember what someone told me once about why people follow others. He said that there are only two reasons why people follow others:
First, is out of a sense of pure curiosity to see if someone so stupid could really pull this off.
Second, is out a sense of loyalty, or inspiration because they truly believed their leader could actually lead them to success.
What is Credibility?
Credibility is a perceived level of trust and confidence
granted everyday by those with whom you serve.
As a leader, credibility is something you must earn. It’s the perceived goodwill, trust, and cooperation granted by those you lead to consistently produce excellent results. It’s earned or lost every day by your willingness serve them.
As a follower, credibility is also something you must earn. Without credibility (believability), a follower cannot become effective. For any leader to have faith in a follower, the issues always involve credibility. And, credibility always involves your performance and character.
Here are a few suggestions of how to enhance your credibility:
Enhance your Performance
How does your leader measure your performance? Measuring performance is the process of comparing the difference between the desired and the actual performance and includes measuring two things; your results and behavior.
How does your leader assess your RESULTS?
What are results? Results are what you achieve and include actual job outputs, countable products, measurable outcomes and accomplishments, and the goals you’ve achieved, maintained, or exceeded. However, your results must be something under your control, regardless of whether the result is mental or physical. Your results could be a mental result like answers or recommendations. Your results should be something you can measure and record for your next performance review. Results are normally measured objectively and don’t have to be observed.
Are your results consistent? What happens to unsuccessful NFL Football Coaches near the end of every season? They get fired! It’s not Personal, it’s Business. If you can’t produce the desired result, your leader will be looking for someone who can. He has no choice, unless he wants his position to be in question.
Do your results contribute to your leader’s goals? If your results consistently contribute to your leader’s goals, you’re in good shape.
How does your leader assess your BEHAVIOR (or character)?
Your behavior, on the other hand, includes your competencies, skills, expertise, your adherence to organizational values, customer feedback, supplier feedback, and your personal style, manners, and approach. Behavior also includes how you treat others (what you say and do, plus what you fail to say and do) and is normally measured subjectively. Does your behavior reflect positively on the organization’s standards and expectations? How do you treat your team members and customers?
Do you treat everyone with dignity, respect, and kindness? These are the things effective leaders consider when assessing your behavior. Are you a good example to those around you? Would they agree? Character (your behavior) counts! In fact, character is one of the most important considerations when it comes to assessing your future potential.
“In serving each other, we become free. May God give us
the wisdom to discover the right, the will choose it,
and the strength to make it endure.”
– Sean Connery
(as King Arthur), 1st Knight
Effective people strengthen their credibility by serving others.
Serving simply means taking care of others.
Serving is simple, but not easy. Serving others isn’t easy because, to do it right, it demands your dedication, sacrifice, humility, discipline, long term commitment, and a willingness to change.
There are only two ways of serving anyone; either by reducing or eliminating their pain, or by increasing their pleasure. It’s true, think about it.
Everyone’s behavior is driven by either reducing
or eliminating pain or increasing pleasure.
What Pleasures do Humans Seek? Love, recognition, power, encouragement, reward, success, money, food, meaningful work, comfort, promotions, freedom, convenience, free time, money, leisure, caring, health, and anything else that keeps them in their Comfort Zone.
What Pains do Humans Avoid? Failure, boring and repetitive work, do-overs, embarrassment, mistakes, frustration, setbacks, waiting on others, wasting their time, indecision, bad behavior, conflict, struggle, uncertainty, and anything that could cause physical or mental discomfort or could take them out of their Comfort Zone.
And, believe it or not, serving others is one of the strongest forms of love. Have you ever heard of Serving your Family, Serving your Country, or Serving your God? We all have. Effective people fully recognize that the most important component of their effectiveness and success is serving their team members.
Ultimately, it’s the team members who determine their leader’s level of effectiveness and success.
Service must go both ways. For a leader, he’ll need willing and capable team members. There’s little more frustrating than having good members leave. Since they can leave you at any time, what does the leader offer their team members to stay and to give their best effort every day?
Effective people serve by doing what needs to be done, without being told to do so, to the best of their ability, when no one is watching, and without expecting any recognition.
These five distinct components of serving are critical. If any are missing, you’re not serving. For example, if you’re expecting recognition in return, you’re working, not serving.
Service must be selfless – done for the benefit of others.
Let’s examine each of the five components of serving:
Doing what Needs to be Done: This requires that you take the action necessary to help others in some meaningful way, which for me is the purpose of my existence, the reason I was born.
Without being told to do so: Being told to do so is doing work, not service. What if no one is around to tell you what to do? Now what?
To the Best of their Ability: Why would you bother doing anything if it wasn’t your best effort?
When no one is Watching: Are you doing this just to get the praise of others? If so, that’s not service because you’re doing it for yourself.
Without expecting any Recognition: If you are doing it to receive recognition for yourself, you’re not serving others and others can see that. If what you’re doing is for the betterment of others, you’re serving. It’s your intent that counts.
Only by truly serving others you can you ever expect to become effective.
Now what? My advice, do more than expected,
Follow through, and repeat often!
Here’s a great example of Service:
“I vividly remember one Sunday afternoon, as a young boy, when my Uncle Bill Bull asked me if I wanted to help him do the tax return for a club where he was the Treasurer.
In those days before computers, accounting was done on an adding machine that rendered strips of paper with all the calculations, which were then stapled to the appropriate page of the tax return. It was around 10 PM, when my uncle reminded me that I had school the next day and that I had better get home. At that time, I remember that the numbers didn’t add up; we were off by 3 cents. I jokingly tossed him a nickel, said, “That should make up for it”, and went home to bed.
The next afternoon, I asked him if he found the error. He told me that he had stayed up until around 3 AM, finally found the error, and went to work around 6 AM. I thought he was kidding me. So, I asked where he found the error. He said that he searched for hours and finally found the error in one of the paper strips I had produced. I must have punched in a 2 instead of a 5, which threw off the total by 3 cents. I was stunned!
I was stunned not only for the fact that he stayed up so late to make sure the numbers were correct, but more importantly that he didn’t scold me for making the mistake. My uncle willingly stayed up until 3 AM, did what needed to be done, without being told to do so, to the best of his ability, when no one was watching, and without expecting anything in return.
If his signature was going to be on a document, it was his duty to make darn sure it was correct. It was here that I learned the real meaning of service and how to treat people with dignity, respect, and kindness”.
This definition of service makes sense and is accepted by those who choose to take become effective. However, if I could digress for a moment and expand on one of the components of service: “Doing what needs to be done”.
I’m often asked,
“How do I know what needs to be done?”
I always answer by asking this question,
What did Mother Teresa do when she started the Missionaries of Charity? How did she know what needed to be done? In 1950, she started with nothing but a burning desire and Gods help.
Soon she had 13 Sisters serving with her in the slums of Calcutta making sure no one died abandoned and alone. 47 years later, in 1997, the Missionaries of Charity had grown to over 4000 sisters serving worldwide. She just showed up, with a helpful heart, ready to get involved, and the work presented itself.
The message here is Simple, but Powerful:
To find out what needs to be done, show up, with a helpful heart,
ready to get involved, and the work will present itself.
Notice the three requirements here:
To Show up: Means being there! Never underestimate the power of your presence.
With a Helpful Heart: Means asking, “How can I help? What do you need?” And, asking yourself, “Would you be willing to do what they do, under the same conditions?”
Ready to Get Involved: Means ready to do something, to contribute in some meaningful way. This can only be achieved by knowing their names, the culture, values, rules, policies, standards, ethics, expectations, equipment, property, chain of authority, limitations, capabilities, and do’s and don’ts, just to mention a few.
If you don’t have all three, work hard until you do. Without having all three, you won’t be able to see what you need to see, to feel what you need to feel, and to act the way you need to act – to truly serve others.
What makes Serving so powerful? Serving others is what contributes to the Emotional Bank Account of those you serve.
As you treat each member with dignity, respect and kindness, the balance of their Emotional Bank Account goes up. Steven R. Covey
An Emotional Bank Account is a shorthand way of explaining a
very complex series of emotions by using the metaphor of a
bank account to show the “trust and credibility” balance
each team member has for their leader.
This is what makes you more effective. As your members see you serving, they’ll be inspired to do the same for their members.
Effective people don’t need to satisfy their ego; they just want to serve and make a difference for others. Like Abraham Lincoln, they can be as shy and awkward as they are influential. They have no need to be the focus of attention. They are more comfortable helping their members grow and succeed.
Serving others demands your dedication, sacrifice and long-term commitment. Serving is the key to creating the credibility and influence needed to become more effective. Service must be selfless – done for the benefit of others. Effective people are usually found quietly working behind the scenes showing and enabling others on how to succeed.
If you had a supervisory position open and were looking at the available candidates for the best person to fill the job, what would you be looking for? Most people would be looking for those that stand out and appear to have a Take Charge attitude. In the new economy, your business unit will stall and eventually fail, if you fill your supervisory positions with this kind of person, especially if you persist in being that kind of person yourself.
This is because this style of treating others will never tap into the inner initiative and passion of your team members. Effective people often don’t look like supervisors, because they don’t seek power, visibility, or control.
They look like good team members because they are humble in the knowledge that their role is to serve those within their charge.
Effective people are invisible until you have eyes to see them.
In today’s business world, this is one of the top goals of effective people; to create more effective team members.
Effective people know that they can’t reach their true potential, unless everyone does. Their motto is, “Everybody counts. No one gets left behind. We all make it together.” That’s the Power of Service. That’s what makes them effective.
This only works if you have built up their Emotional Bank Account balance by treating them with dignity, respect, and kindness. Will you serve every day in a way that earns their loyalty, trust, and respect?
Will you be found worthy or lacking in the eyes of those you serve?
By serving and treating others with dignity, respect, and kindness, you are earning the right to be their leader.
“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to
say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”
– Max DePree
Treat everyone with dignity, respect, and kindness
“It is futile to judge a kind deed by its motives. Kindness can become its own motive.
We are made kind by being kind.”
– Eric Hoffer
Another way to become more effective is by treating everyone with dignity, respect, and kindness – regardless of how you’re treated! Effective people treat everyone with dignity, respect, and kindness.
Effective people do this by:
- Knowing their first names and the names of their family members
- Knowing their birthdays and recognize them on their special day
- Knowing when (the date) they joined company and thanking them for their years of loyal service
- Being sensitive to their needs to take time off for family
- Contributing to their Emotional Bank Account daily
- Tracking their vacation time and ensuring they take time off
- Showing an interest in their personal and family’s well-being
- Visiting them in the hospital and building lasting relationships
Don’t play favorites. Consistently treat everyone with dignity, respect, and kindness. Be known for the right reasons. People are going to talk about you anyway; give them something good to say.
Don’t confuse humility and kindness with weakness!
It takes Strength to be Kind.
“Don’t mistake kindness for weakness.
It’s the strong that lend a hand.
The tough who make a stand.
Know showing love isn’t weak.
They don’t break, unless it’s sweat.
They don’t crack Humble in victory.
Gracious in Defeat.
Building others up.
Tearing walls down.
The real ones, unless it’s a smile.
They shine and make others look good.
They get better – not bitter.
It takes strength to be kind.
It takes heart to earn respect.
There is kindness in us all.
But, it’s the strong who choose to use it.”
– Kevin Durant
In this life, and the next, you’ll be judged not by how you treated
the best among you, but by how you treated the worst.
Show Real Appreciation
Recognize all the non-performance related activities like birthdays, years of service with the company, birth of child or weddings. When was the last time your leader came up to you on your birthday, stuck out his hand and said, “Happy birthday! I’m so glad you were born.”
Since there are no unimportant jobs in your unit, tell your team members how much you appreciate them for what they do, at least weekly.
Give them credit in front of others. Praise members even if things aren’t perfect, or not exactly the way you would have done it. They will try harder next time – just to get the praise.
Refrain from Saying or Writing Negative things About Anyone
Don’t say negative things about anyone – especially when it’s true. Carelessly pronouncing your ill-conceived judgments and opinions about others, even if they’re true, does not enhance your reputation, nor does adding fuel to the fire when someone does something wrong. Keep your negative talk to yourself.
Saying negative things about anyone only tends to illuminate the flaws in your character.
You’ll be labeled and remembered as the vile bearer of idol gossip, rumors, and negativity. Not a great way to build a stellar reputation. In the end, your remarks have a bad habit of finding their way back to you for an explanation. What you send out will come back tenfold. What you send out also creates your reputation. Instead of saying negative things, encourage, recognize, show appreciation, challenge, thank, and praise. Be careful what you say! It’s easy to join a conversation with people bashing someone else. Just walk away or change the subject. You’ll be glad you did.
Do Good Anyway!
To help you better understand why it’s so important to treat everyone with dignity, respect, and kindness; I share my favorite inspirational quote from Mother Teresa:
“The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
Keep your Word!
A promise is when you tell someone you’ll do something or when you’re asked for help and you say you’ll help. If you’re not going to help, then say so! Keep your word, especially to yourself, or don’t make the promise in the first place. Whether you promise a friend, associate, total stranger, or yourself that you’ll do something by a certain time, you’ve already created a debt.
And, if you’re poor at keeping your promises, this will destroy your credibility. The toxic effect of this debt is catastrophic on your relationships, as well as your self-image. If it’s a bad habit, own up to it and make the change. What’s the value of your integrity? Do you follow through and deliver what you said you’d do? If you tell someone, “I’ll get back to you”, do you? Can you be counted on to deliver? Would your leader agree?
In reality, your greatest personal power is your word. Under promise and over deliver!
If you say you’ll do something and you deliver, you have great personal power. However, how often have you given your power away or made continued excuses as to why you didn’t deliver? Do you follow through with those who’ve asked you for help or to those you’ve said you’ll help? What’s holding you back?
Demonstrate a Positive Attitude
Your mental attitude is the most important asset you have. Here I’m referring to whether you’ve developed and maintained an optimistic attitude concerning your future. It’s your way of framing what’s possible for your life. And, you control it.
Jealously guard your positive attitude towards what you’re doing because optimism is a profit, morale, and effectiveness multiplier.
Many others, with far less talents than you, have gone on to achieve great things with their life. How? They never gave anyone the power to rain on their parade. Don’t let anyone steal your sunshine. Your future hinges on maintaining a positive mental attitude towards what’s possible for you to achieve. It’s not your circumstances, but what you do about your circumstances that determine your future.
No one can ruin your day or make you feel bad without your permission.
Stop giving others the ability to affect your positive attitude. Happiness and success in life depend on how you see the proverbial glass half full. Is your glass half full or half empty? It depends on your attitude at the time (a thought). This is a conscious choice you make each day of your life. How do you choose to view your life?
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than fact. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say I can do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break an organization… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”
– Charles Swindoll
A positive attitude by itself won’t automatically create success.
But, the absence of one will surely inhibit your potential success.
Task: Watch the Movie, The Letters, a story of Mother Teresa’s life.
Questions: Did Mother Teresa have credibility? What did you have to do to earn her credibility? What attracted others to help Mother Teresa? What did you learn about service? What did you learn about finding what needs to be done? How can you use what you learned to better serve others?
To be continued: You can learn more about influence and credibility, and how it can help enhance your career, by add this book to your professional library, today!
YOUR GUIDE TO BETTER CREDIBILITY
Here you’ll learn:
Chapter 1: Basics of Credibility
Chapter 3: Treating Everyone With Dignity, Respect, & Kindness
Chapter 4: Supporting Your Team’s Goals
Chapter 5: Achieving Team Consensus
Chapter 6: Protecting Their “Health & Welfare”
Chapter 7: Creating More Effective Leaders
Chapter 8: Gaining Real Credibility With Your Leader
You now have the chance to enhance your career by learning how to enhance your credibility.
You also have the chance to purchase The Effectiveness Guide, which contains all 9 Core Competencies of Effectiveness, but does not include Your Guide to Better Credibility, because it is not one of the 9 Core Competencies of Effectiveness.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
CHAPTER 1: WHAT MAKES A LEADER EFFECTIVE?
CHAPTER 2: BY BECOMING A BETTER DELEGATOR
CHAPTER 3: BY BECOMING A BETTER PLANNER
CHAPTER 4: BY BECOMING A BETTER ORGANIZER
CHAPTER 5: BY BECOMING A BETTER COMMUNICATOR
CHAPTER 6: BY BECOMING A BETTER PROBLEM SOLVER
CHAPTER 7: BY ENHANCING YOUR AWARENESS
CHAPTER 8: BY BECOMING A BETTER TRAINER
CHAPTER 9: BY ENHANCING YOUR ABILITY TO MOTIVATE
CHAPTER 10: BY ENHANCING YOUR CHARACTER
APPENDIX A: PLAN OF ACTION EXAMPLE
APPENDIX B: REAL WORLD PROBLEM SOLVING EXAMPLE
APPENDIX C: ADVANCE PROBLEM SOLVING WITH VUCA
APPENDIX D: CAREER ADVICE
APPENDIX E: CREATING MISSION AND VISION STATEMENTS
The Effectiveness Guide will be the best investment you’ll ever make in your career.
Also, if you feel this information could help someone else, please take a few moments to let them know. If it turns out to make a difference in their life, they’ll be forever grateful to you – as will I.
Let’s make a difference together – one person at a time!
All the best!
Founder of TheCAREERMaker.com
Connect with me at:
What are you doing to improve yourself?
Stop wishing you were better and do something about it today.
The 9 Core Competencies of Effectiveness