RCT Blog


I’m continuing to acquaint you with a book in my personal library, The Truth About Leadership by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. This is one of my most highlighted, underlined and heavily-noted texts.  This book is filled with insights that every leader should review on a regular basis.  Here’s Leadership Truth #2:  Credibility is the foundation of leadership.


Credibility – believability – of the leader determines “whether people will willingly give more of their time, talent, energy, experience, intelligence, creativity, and support.  Only credible leaders earn commitment, and only commitment builds and regenerates great organizations and communities.”


Over thirty years Kouzes and Posner have researched leadership, and the results have been consistent.  Leaders that people want to follow possess four qualities - qualities that followers expect of their leaders: 


  • honest (someone who tells the truth),
  • forward-looking (a sense of direction, a vision of the future),
  • being inspiring (genuine enthusiasm, excitement and energy about the possibilities ahead), and
  • being competent (know what you’re doing and able to get things done) 


“Above all else, people must be able to believe in their leaders.  They must believe that your word can be trusted, that you are personally passionate and enthusiastic about the work that you’re doing, and that you have the necessary knowledge and skill to lead.”


Kouzes and Posner share their First Law of Leadership:  If you don’t believe the messenger, you won’t believe the message.  What does this look like?  That’s the Second Law of Leadership:  Do what you say you will do.  Align your actions and your words.  Demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness, because credibility is the foundation of leadership.



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