The new secret to C-Suite’s success? faithfulness

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You may not see it listed under “essential skills and qualifications,” but credibility is trending as a requirement to be successful in the workplace. Naming the concept may be new, but as we move into a rapidly evolving technological age, the importance of defining characteristics has increased. Credibility can be summarized as the pairing of influence, authority, credibility, trust and prestige. And for anyone who wants to advance in the workplace, it’s non-negotiable.

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While any member of an organization would benefit from exemplifying genuine credibility, it is becoming a core C-suite capability that must be continually nurtured. Information spreads faster than in years before, which means easy access, but also puts a heavy responsibility on the individual, for lack of a better phrase, know their content. Executives are more visible than ever because of how easily we can record, dissect, post and share.

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In such a visual role, your character is at all times exposed to judgment and comment. And in a position of power on such a public forum, nothing can be built.

How a leader presents himself to the public affects the collective perception and reputation of the organization they represent. Employees have a strong voice in 2022, and those voices can quickly take over the narrative and business focus. Failure to practice faithfulness has the potential to leave a person incapacitated and unable to control their discourse or operating beliefs.

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So what does this mean for C-suite executives? It is no longer enough to be a “smart” or a “thought person” or a “work horse”. In truth, just being a “good” manager won’t cut it anymore. Earning an opportunity at the C-suite level is about enterprise thinking and relationships, and beyond, how to successfully combine the two. It’s about mastering thoughtful communication that focuses not only on the message you send, but also on how to get it. Among communication attempts are countless iterations of “Instagram reality”—in other words, a fictional, fraudulent message designed to elicit a specific response.

How can you be more reliable in the workplace?

First and foremost, invest in a good executive communication person who has a strong grasp on the basics of effective internal and external communication. While this may seem unnecessary, many people lack a clear understanding of basic communication models—and they pay the price for it.

Lead with integrity whenever you get the chance. The caveat here is that credibility builds with equity over time. We’re not just talking about authenticity as an operating credo, but how it’s portrayed when sending a consistent message. Audiences and consumers alike are tirelessly searching for the cracks in Instagram reality, which make clear, authentic content important. It may sound like a no-brainer, but many people fail to do so and face far greater difficulty in proving themselves to be credible.

Be prepared with communication efforts in advance. You will be much more comfortable when faced with different modes of communication, whether it is a simple conversation or a debate. A reliable leader has strong convictions, believes in what they say and says things that are a reflection of what they stand for. It is clear that they have thoroughly thought through solutions, answers and ideas before attempting to participate. Not only do they demonstrate confidence and wisdom, but they are also open to opinions on the opposite side of the aisle. You can’t have a belief system if you don’t understand all the sides.

I’ll leave you with four questions to reflect on and feel firm in your credibility:

1. What do I believe?

2. What is my authentic leadership style?

3. What am I not comfortable addressing, and why?

4. How do I break down those barriers to overcome it?

Take the time to reflect on these questions and build confidence in the answers you think are correct. Action items are simple, but they don’t mean easy. Ultimately it comes down to consistency in authentic communication – both within the organization and externally on social platforms or mass communication. Be intentional with your words; Don’t talk just to be a presence in a conversation without factual information and material backed by a solid belief system.

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The new secret to C-Suite’s success? faithfulness

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