If you want people to follow you, you need to prove your credibility, says Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of the sixth edition of the best-selling classic TheChallenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations. But how do you do that? The authors say it’s critical that you:
Practice what you preach. Hold the same standards for yourself that you do others.
Walk the talk. Make sure your actions match the words coming out of your mouth. For example, if you say you value, you better ask for it and use it.
Keep your promises. If you say you are going to provide resources, manpower, time and so on, do it. If something changes and you can’t, be upfront with employees about it.
Do what you say you will do. That can be as simple as following up with the answer to a question in a timely manner to as serious as dealing with a harassment claim. If you agree to something, follow through.
Most important, say Kouzes and Posner, is that you must be consistent. Fail to do so, and you will be seen as unreliable—or worse, a hypocrite.