This past weekend has given us all gifts for the taking when in comes to insights into credibility.

What I have taken away from the vote counting in the USA:

  1. How might leaders want to be seen by others?
  2. How might leaders best handle unknowns?
  3. How might leaders best communicate their values knowing they may be elected or rejected?
  4. How might leaders choose to behave when they win or when they lose.

Thinking about three cohorts from the US election who has more or less credibility in your view, ?

  • Politicians
  • Election processes
  • Media outlets

Handling unknowns has been a leaders priority for the best part of this year. Thanks COVID-19! 

And watching leaders and commentators this past weekend call for patience and to let the process of counting work contributes to the credibility of the leader and the news casters. 

Image Source: Pixaby

To say I was obsessed with netball when I was a child would be an understatement. Every Saturday, hundreds of people converged at the courts and games would be played all day. Throughout the day the air was thick with shouting, whistles and the odd crackling of announcements over the PA system… it was my bliss. And to wander home at the end of a tough game with a win was a bonus. Who doesn’t like to win, right?

Win or lose, my Dad always told me to be the first to extend my hand and thank the opposition for a great game. Even if I thought the opposition played a dirty game, even if we had a dodgy umpire, even if I wasn’t happy with my own game … I had my Dad’s words in my ear. 

What Dad did was keep me humble and be a good loser or a good winner. My Dad’s credibility, in my eyes, was strong and positive and through these acts, my belief in him and his values grew. 

Credibility is a leader’s currency. With it, he or she is solvent; without it, he or she is bankrupt.

Image source: Twitter

John C Maxwell

American author, speaker, pastor

What is Credability?


When a leader can inspire belief, they have credibility.

It’s not the leader who determines they have credibility but rather the people they interact with, and through their content and persuasion.

Like fake news, once you realise it’s untrue, untested, unreliable you see it for what it is: fake and lacking credibility.

When looking for reliable, trustworthy and accurate news and information, leaders also need to be reliable and trustworthy to be seen as credible. A credible leader also is responsible and accountable.


It’s not a big leap to see that a leader’s values drive their behaviour which influence how credible that leader is seen by others. 

  • Honesty
  • Authenticity
  • Competence
  • Democracy
  • Empathy
  • Trust
  • Integrity
  • Reliability
  • Respect
  • Taking responsibility

These are just a sprinkle of values that, in action, will directly influence credibility.



If no one sees you, how can they determine your credibility? This is not just being on camera for the zoom/teams meeting. It’s about being present with and for others: actively listening and deeply engaged with them. 

It’s about showing up when you say you will and being a role model. Leaders are observed far more than they often realise. A case in point, is an Executive I was coaching didn’t realise that the extreme long hours they worked was causing concern for his team. I interviewed his management team and they shared they often felt they had to also work long hours because, “If the boss is here, we should be too.” This was a perception that was causing a lot of negativity across the team and the Executive simply wasn’t aware. Once made aware, changes were made immediately and that Executive’s credibility began to improve.


I’d love to know your thoughts, from your experiences how has a leader’s credibility impacted their leadership?