Eight Steps to Credibility

Original Spanish version published in El Comercio newspaper (Peru) on March 27, 2014

  1. Those who value their credibility act in accordance with their principles and values.And they do so even if it affects their income or their popularity. They don’t yield to the temptation of immediate gain at the cost of losing the trust that others have in them. They know that their long-term careers depend on that trust, which is also the basis for a solid reputation and well-earned prestige. People who value their credibility respect their names and take active and conscious care of their personal brands.
  2. They don’t oversell themselves.Nor do they engage in a lot of self-promotion, because they know that their credibility is based on realities and not just on appearances. Appearances can generate good or bad reputations, since they can be interpreted by others superficially or subjectively. They know that well-earned trust and prestige are achieved through a consistent record of real actions and accomplishments over time.
  3. They don’t improvise or rest on their laurels.Professionals with credibility work hard, with dedication and discipline. You can rely on them because they “get the job done” and are very well prepared when working in their area of specialization or their assigned duties. They don’t forget that their credibility is based on values, but also on results and actions that benefit their customers, suppliers, coworkers, and shareholders. They deepen their knowledge, study and stay informed, and keep themselves current and competitive. They take classes, keep learning and growing.
  4. They keep their word.They keep their promises and honor their commitments, even when doing so is not practical or convenient for them or when it costs them money or opportunities to earn more. They don’t contradict themselves or change directions lightly. They don’t need signed papers to validate what they have agreed to do, because for them their word is enough.
  5. They are consistent.They have the same values for their personal and professional lives, meaning that they don’t use double-talk and there is no inconsistency between what they say and what they do. They are people of integrity who know that proper behavior has no borders, limits, or areas of exemption. They live without conflicts of interest or of ethics, regardless of any effect on their incomes.
  6. They are loyal even in bad times.People who value their credibility don’t sell their loyalties to the highest bidder or compromise someone else’s reputation lightly (meaning they don’t spread rumors irresponsibly). They don’t abandon their friends when they are no longer “popular” or when they are unjustly criticized by others.
  7. They give credit where credit is due.They never take the merits of others for themselves. Obviously they don’t pirate or copy anyone else’s intellectual work. They know how to recognize the success of others without it making them feel less important or valuable. They are capable of publicly thanking others for their collaboration without feeling diminished themselves. They don’t minimize the support they have received or conveniently “forget” the people who helped them achieve their goals or objectives.
  8. They tell the truth.People who value their credibility tend to be opinion leaders who don’t stop doing what’s right even when it makes them temporarily unpopular. They are honest and transparent, and they don’t lie or adapt the facts in their favor, even when it would be practical or convenient to do so. They are the people with whom it is pleasant to work, be friends, or do business!

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