Here at the beginning of 2017, we all face a new start – where you can get rid of old habits, start doing things differently or make a more meaningful impact. No matter what your goals are for the coming year, we should all aim to become more credible.
Credible leaders have the uncanny ability to get others to do what they don’t want to do – and to like what they are doing. And as Steven Cohen writes in his article about being a credible leader on page 26 – being a good leader is about a vigorous application of good judgement. He says that while we are constantly bombarded by different views and news from online sources and social media sites, as well as everybody’s own opinion, it’s important to prevent unnecessary information from cluttering your mind. Form your own opinion – because there is value in it.
The media has had a field day in the past few weeks with various leaders and presidents of countries around the world and the decisions they’ve made. And while we don’t need to mention names or detail their actions, this could remind you of something that Jim Collins wrote about leadership.
He says that leadership is much less about what you do and much more about who you are. If you view leadership as a bunch of manipulative tricks or charismatic behaviours to advance your own personal interest, people have every right to be cynical. But if your leadership flows first and foremost from your inner character and integrity, then you can justly ask people to lend themselves to your organisation and its mission. And this ties in perfectly with the words of Nelson Mandela: ‘Power is not something you use, it’s something you’re a custodian of.’
Ethical behaviour and credible leadership go hand in hand – by knowing what is right and doing it. Ethical behaviour in the workplace needs to start at the top, and will have a trickle-down effect.
May 2017 be a year of credible behaviour and may each of you be inspired to make a distinctive impact in the lives of the people you lead.