Where there’s no credibility, there’s no leadership. That’s an ancient saying that I just made up. However, it’s just as true as it would be if it really were ancient.
All jokes aside, as a sales manager I am sure you have been dealing with your own credibility at some point, in one way or another. As such, you’ll also know how very important it is to be able to not just build it, but also successfully maintain it throughout the various stages of the leadership process.
Why is credibility important
First a few words on the reasons behind the importance of a manager’s credibility. Above all, credibility can be translated to the amount of trust that your employees have in your decisions and guidance. It’s a measurement gauge of whether you’re the right person in the right place. It’s what motivates people to deliver results under your command.
“Credibility is a must-have attribute for people in leadership positions since it helps influence people’s behaviors, patterns and thoughts. If the leader is not credible, others are less likely to believe what they say or teach. Being credible also helps people truly believe that the leader or person in charge is worthy of the job at hand.”
In other words, a leader without credibility will lose their team’s respect and will never achieve great results.
How to maintain credibility as a manager
There are many words of advice on this topic, and I’ve not only done the job of reading them all for you, but I’ll also do you a favor of distilling it all into one simple motto above them all: Don’t be an idiot. If you stick with it, you’re likely on a good path to be a credible manager.
But to be fair with you, here are few more specific points that make all the difference between a credible manager and, well, an idiot:
Dishonesty and overpromising. Misleading your team, telling them half-truths and stretching the facts may work as a temporary motivator, but once the truth behind your actions gets out, your credibility is shot. Set expectations realistically, just like you want your sales team to do with their prospects.
Cowardice. If you’re not able to face an obstacle head-on or look your team members in the eye when telling them some bad news, you have no business being in the manager’s chair.
Hairsplitting. It’s good to be a perfectionist, at least to a certain extent, but you should definitely avoid pedantry and lingering on small details for ages. Your job is to keep the focus on the big picture.
Excessive relaxedness. Whether you have just been freshly promoted or you come as an outsider, you’re the boss now. It’s important to be friendly, but not a friend. Staying professional is an important part of keeping the credibility meter up.
Credibility is not only an issue for the novice managers, but even experienced bosses sometimes struggle with it. But now that you’ve heard my secret motto, you’ll know how to make sure to never lose your credibility in the workplace.