Credibility is such a big issue for women in business. Possibly because many still feel like we're outsiders - we pursue credibility vigorously and defend it fiercely in our attempts to step up into leadership opportunities.
But here's an idea to focus on in the down time: You also want to proactively build credibility and deposit any left overs into your credibility bank so that it's there for a rainy day.
Why? So that if or when something goes wrong you have something to cushion your fall- but even better .... you have something that pro-actively positions you ahead of the rest before you even start.
Just like pre-emptive "like"
It's exactly like building pre-emptive "like". You know when a brand handles customer care interactions well on a day to day basis? The message gets around soon enough - so you "like" them pre-emptively.
- You follow them on social,
- You talk about their adverts with peers, and
- You even recommend them to friends and family.
What this means is that if and when the brand makes a mistake (faulty product or service), you give them the chance to repair the relationship first before you go to town on them on social media, or report them to a regulator.
It can be the same for you with credibility. You want to deposit credibility in your credibility bank so that you have pre-emptive leadership credibility that will enable you to be:
- Championed more effectively,
- Inspire your followers to follow you more easily, and
- Given the benefit of the doubt when it's needed.
Most importantly it will help you position yourself ahead of any competitors in your next tilt at the C-suite.
Credibility killers we already know about
I've written before about things that undermine your credibility:
- Language - Four bad habits that undermine your credibility
- Meetings - Four major mistakes women make In meetings
And last week at our Melbourne 6 month Young Executive Mastermind program we worked with Melbourne stylist Christina Robert on tips and traps for credibility through style and work attire. (Mental note: don't wear those purple tie die flares to the office.)
But there are also a range of things you can do to start building pre-emptive leadership cred. So here are my seven top tips.
#1. Stop being busy, start being strategic - be purposeful and strategic about your leadership aspirations
#2. Keep it calm - flustered is a big credibility killer
#3. Connect up - make sure you also converse with leaders inside and outside of your business, not just peers or staff. This helps you keep your ear to the ground, plus you are visible
#4. Always connect back to strategy - "Why do you run those events? Because they are part of a bigger strategic initiative to drive client engagement and attract new customers. In fact, we're helping to 10x the revenues via our event strategy."
#5. Focus on results, not just the process
#6. Dress like the CEO - even on casual Friday
And #7? Perception is a funny thing. People are making judgments about you whether you like it or not. So take control of the narrative and judgements, before they take control of you.
Of course, there is so much more to credibility than this. But these pointers will not only keep you out of trouble, but help you start making big deposits into your pre-emptive cred account at Bank of U.
Remember: My goal is to help you win the feminine ambition trifecta - where you make great money, you feel like your opinion is valued plus you are making an even bigger difference.
Vive la révolution!
#ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition