Monday, September 25, 2023

Credibility is the foundation of leadership

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David Stewart, RYP International
David Stewart, RYP International
David Stewart (B Ed, Grad Dip Sports Science, master’s Business Leadership) David is the Founder & Principal of RYP International – A Coaching & Advisory Practice. For over 40 years he has worked globally with organisations, communities, sports teams, CEO’s and their leadership teams to develop their capability and culture to maximise performance.

Trust and respect accumulates over time!
One quality all regional Australians have is they take people for their word. Doing what you say you will do builds trust.
Actions must align with words. Credibility is everything.

The Victorian Government’s recent decision to cancel the Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria once again demonstrates two things.

Firstly, for a leader to be trusted, any up front promises and subsequent actions and lived experiences must align. Secondly, regional Australians must be able to adapt quickly to the incompetent decisions governments make. This is often and many.


In my recent travels around regional Australia and listening to community and business groups, very few have faith in their elected representatives, quite simply because their upfront promises and commitments do not materialise. They are empty promises. This is why so many of our politicians are met with deep scepticism by regional Australians. There are too many examples where actions do not support up front promises and commitments. This provides a really important lesson for any leader. Credibility is the foundation for any leader to be respected.

Trust and respect is accumulated by the many little things done consistently every day

It is like putting coins into a piggy bank. It builds slowly over time. How a leader consistently acts, behaves, and conducts themselves is what builds trust, respect, and credibility.

Building trust is about many moments

It forms over time and will always be based on lived experiences. How a leader acts, behaves, or responds in a particular circumstance, especially in challenging times, will always reveal their character.

Here are five attributes that can help build your leadership respect and trust bank:

  1. How you conduct yourself: Your attitude, behaviours, personal awareness, and self-control especially in stressful or difficult times. Words and actions must align. Angry outbursts where a cool head is required serve no lasting purpose. All it does is make people feel crap.
  2. What your motivators are: What you stand for. What drives you. Your values and what motivates and inspires you. Your moral character. Your appetite to be the best version of yourself. A leader must role model a positive growth mindset to effect any change.
  3. An ability to deliver on promises and commitments: How you accept the responsibility for the giving and receiving of feedback, your ability to role model resilience, optimism, and accountability, whilst being able to admit mistakes, and most importantly close feedback loops. To put it plainly … Do what you say you will do. Act as you want people to act.
  4. An ability to express gratitude and practice humility: Any leadership dynamic is through and with people. An ability to thank, show appreciation and express meaningful and thoughtful feedback are important attributes for a leader to build trust. People will forget what you say to them, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
  5. Maintaining positive energy and sense of perspective: Your energy will always precede you. Keeping positive, balanced, and energised will help create the right climate for anyone to be part of. The one choice every person has is what attitude and behaviours they want to bring to people around them. A leader’s energy and attitude is contagious.

The coaching – parenting – leadership dynamic are all linked.

Each require a consistency of effort to build a trust and respect bank. Consistency is the building block of trust and respect.

Leadership Lesson

Trust is earned – Respect is given – Loyalty is demonstrated. Betrayal on any one of these is to lose all three.

The greatest engagement weapon a leader has is a caring heart, a listening ear, and a forward facing approach to life.

If you would like to learn more on our Leadership & Coaching Lessons jump into our RYP Resource Library. They are free.


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