I really enjoyed reading through the article entitled “Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership” as it allowed me to evaluate my leadership as well as the leadership potential in my peers. The article opens with a quote from a man named Gayle Hamilton of Pacific Gas and Electric- “You can’t follow someone who isn’t credible, who doesn’t truly believe in what they’re doing- and how they’re doing it.” Through my experience and my observations of others, I believe that one of the most difficult challenges of leadership is becoming the person that people want to follow. Sure, it’s easy to claim a title, but how can you become the leader that will inspire others to perform at their best? According to the article, the key to leadership is credibility. After surveying individuals and organizations from around the world, the four characteristics that establish one’s credibility are honesty, competency, foresight, and the ability to inspire. Although many other attributes surfaced, these traits seemed to evoke the most trust. One of the points addressed that I most enjoyed in the article was that leaders are known for walking the walk. I’m sure we have all encountered those who are good with words, who can make situations seem so great, but then when it comes to action, all enthusiasm wanes and the goals turn to dust. Thus, the article describes a credible leader as one who can create, communicate, and bring about an inspirational vision that will motivate others to commit. This is only possible once the leader has established himself or herself as a person of integrity. Ultimately, the leader demands trust and respect just in the way that he lives his life- you have no reason to doubt him. Though he will never be perfect, his followers trust in his abilities to lead them to where they long to be.
Another aspect discussed in the article is competency; leaders must possess the skills necessary to perform well in a role and to assist those who come to them with questions. Leaders don’t have to be the best at everything, but they must bring out the best in people.
Finally, the article makes it clear that leaders must understand and base their actions and directives on the needs of their constituents. Leaders with emotional intelligence are the ones deemed to be the most effective and respected. Leaders are therefore competent, consistent, trustworthy, motivational, and vision-oriented. Once we internalize these traits, we all will be one step closer to realizing our potential.