Leadership is the relationship between people who aspire to lead and those who choose whether or not to follow. Leadership hinges on the leader’s credibility which is difficult to build and easy to lose.
CEOs of BP, Wells Fargo and Volkswagen have learned that tough lesson through high-profile scandals that can swiftly damage their reputations. But what is at the heart of credibility?
Over 3 years, Leadership Studies have been done to identify factors that can either underpin or undermine leadership credibility. Field studies were conducted using both quantitative and qualitative method. The studies identified what affects leaders’ credibility and how the leaders’ credibility influence employee behaviors and organizational outcome. The studies used a 9-point scale rating system that rate the leaders’ behaviors as indicators of competence and trustworthiness.
The first series of studies had a sample population of 146 employees in a variety of organizations. The studies were able to come up with a comprehensive model of Top Managers’ Credibility. It was able to identify leadership behaviors that generate perceptions of competence and trustworthiness.
Thereafter, cross-validation of the studies was conducted to a sample population of 145 employees in a variety of organizations. The cross-validation was able to identify the extent to which the behaviors identified in the first study indicate a leader’s competence or trustworthiness.
Eroding Leadership credibility is a deterrent to achieving our company’s goals and objectives. Organizations must strongly be alert on red flags that signal eroding credibility. Based on the study, there are various displays of incompetence our company must look out for.
In the end, these displays of incompetence can make our employees resentful of what they see as a waste of time and resources. Companies need to closely monitor actions that can erode a leader’s credibility. Knowing these red flags can already alert us to make the necessary changes.
There are Key Insights on Leadership Credibility that can prevent leaders from losing their credibility. One key insight is “The behaviors that help leaders gain or lose credibility are not always mirrored images of each other.” It is essential for our leaders to know and understand the key insights on leadership credibility. This way, we can avoid losing ours.
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