In your personal financial life, a good FICO score is essential—it is your credit-ability score. Credit cards, mortgages, car loans, even job opportunities are dependent upon or influenced by your FICO score. Above 750±, you’ll get the fastest approvals and the lowest rates. Below 600±, you’ll get high rates or nothing at all. Your FICO score is a reflection of your intent to repay and your ability to repay. In other words, trust and confidence in you are wrapped up in your FICO score.
Leaders have a credit-ability score also—it is your Leadership FICO Score. It measures your credibility as a leader. Is it important? Oh, yes.
“…more than anything, people want leaders who are credible. Credibility is the foundation of leadership…. Loyalty, commitment, energy and productivity depend upon it.” (Kouzes & Posner, The Leadership Challenge)
“…if he has not built credibility with his people, it doesn’t really matter how great a vision he has.” (John Maxwell, Ultimate Leadership)
Every day, your employees show up and decide how much of themselves they are going to give you. You are paying for their hands, their labor, their knowledge. They owe you that because you are giving them a paycheck. But you need more. You need their hearts and their heads—their best. Employees don’t give their best to the company—they only give their best to you. They will decide to give you their best based on your Leadership FICO score—your credibility. What is leadership credibility?
Leadership credibility is the combination of trust and confidence that motivates people to follow and work for you—all in, giving their best—because they want to, not because they have to.
Companies don’t have credibility—people have credibility. People do not trust companies. They trust people. People do not have confidence in companies. They have confidence in people. Your company (or department) does not have credibility apart from your personal credibility. To your employees, when it comes to credibility, you are the company or church or college or….
You do not have leadership credibility because of your position. To have credibility, you have to work for it, because credibility has to be earned. You earn credibility by what you do and who you are, not by your title or what you say.
Credibility is the single most important attribute/characteristic of leadership. Without it, you can’t lead; you can only be a boss. So how do you earn it? Stay tuned—that’s where we’ll start in the next post.
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© Copyright 2015 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner