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HomeLeadership DevelopmentThe Four Musts for Every TEAM LEADER to Build Credibility
The Four Musts for Every TEAM LEADER to Build Credibility

The Four Musts for Every TEAM LEADER to Build Credibility

In his bestselling book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ Stephen Covey describes four core principles of credibility:

  • Integrity
  • Intent
  • Capability
  • Results

When you are credible, others have confidence in you because they see you as believable, competent and trustworthy. It is the main precursor to building trust.

When people see you as credible they are open to your ideas and respect your expertise. They take you seriously; regardless of your age, gender or whatever lens they are viewing you through.


People who work with integrity consistently do the right thing in the right ways. Their behaviours consistently align with their values. They treat others with decency and fairness.

However, violations of integrity are the biggest destroyers of credibility (and indeed share price!) In recent years, we’ve seen many cases of high-profile people who had major lapses in integrity – the golfer and highest earning sportsman, Tiger Woods, the cyclist Lance Armstrong, the CEO Martha Stewart, the CEO of Wells Fargo bank, and of course the directors of ENRON.

These violations are behaviours that have run counter to the image or brand of these people. But you don’t need to be famous for your integrity to be called into question. If you frequently talk to colleagues about the need to treat everyone fairly and are then seen to be openly favouring someone in a promotion your colleagues will see this as a serious breach of integrity that will be very difficult to recover from.

I have also personally witnessed a leader ostentatiously announcing to their team that they were going to throw a ‘free’ pizza party since the team had worked so hard that month. It subsequently emerged that the pizza had been paid out of the employees’ tip money! Integrity and credibility up in smoke and trust shattered, probably never to be recovered.


Individuals whose intent is viewed as mutually beneficial get credibility and support.

On the other hand, individuals who mostly look out for themselves at the expense of others often lose credibility because of their self-centered agendas. They see work as a place where those below them in the pecking order are there to serve their needs and help them look good.

Instead, credible leaders show that their intent is to serve the needs of their team; open doors, connect them to others, get resources. To achieve this, you first need to gout among your team; get to know their values and beliefs and show them that you really do care about them as people, not just as employees. 


This is the measurement of your ability to do your work well – the talent, attitude, knowledge and style to deliver competently. To gain credibility, you must also be competent.

Competence is enhanced by keeping yourself up to date on knowledge, skills and trends in your area of expertise. But you also need to show your capability and not down-play it. This means doing a number of the following:

  • Believe you are good, but balance that with both an internal and external humility.
  • Seek out and take on high-profile, high-value assignments.
  • Take credit when it is due. Don’t allow others to down-play your work.
  • Be on the look-out for minimizing language like, “It was nothing”.
  • Own and take credit for your ideas – do not give them away freely or allow others to take them from you and claim them as their own.


In business the fact is you are judged much more on results than effort. These build credibility and trust. Here are a few helpful tips to guide you on your road to results.

  • Visualise success on a daily basis. Ask yourself what you are going to achieve today.
  • Challenge any negative self-talk and doubts.
  • Ask for regular, constructive, tough feedback from your managers.
  • End every day by asking yourself. What did I achieve today? What was my actual output? End each day 15 minutes early just to sit and reflect on this.
  • Find a mentor or coach who will challenge you to higher standards.
  • Complete a results notebook. Enter short notes of outputs and achievements.

Credibility is earned over time by overt hard work and conscious ‘good’ behaviour. On the other hand, it can be destroyed in an instant. Vigilance and self-awareness is essential. As Covey himself put it ‘The process of building trust is an interesting one, but it begins with yourself, with what I call self-trust, and with your own credibility, your own trustworthiness. If you think about it, it’s hard to establish trust with others if you can’t trust yourself.’

ABOUT the Course

Regardless of the size of work unit, whether you are experienced or not, this comprehensive Effective Team Leader training seminar & workshops will build strong foundations of skills and knowledge you need to lead others to achieve phenomenal results!

You will uncover the powerful ways to motivate, inspire and get total involvement and commitment from your team. This highly renowned Effective Team Leader training seminar & workshops integrates the very best learning from successful industry leaders to deliver strategies to create high performance teams.

You will take away many practical steps to the issues that you face every day at work and be equipped to deal with tough decisions to lead successfully in today’s fast paced environment.

This Oxford School of Business & Management training seminar & workshops will feature:

  • Proven and researched methods to drive up results
  • The application of personal motivation and drive
  • Develop and build effective management and supervisory skills that can help succeed even in challenging times
  • Behavioural Models and activities to drive up understanding
  • Relationship development methods that build rapport quickly and easily
  • Conflict Management Strategies to deliver increased cooperation and results

To view more details and how to register for this course, email OSBM at info@oxford-sbm.com. To view the full OSBM Management & Leadership Training Courses, please click here.

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