Building Credibility

The Catalyst Effect

ISBN: 978-1-78743-552-0, eISBN: 978-1-78743-551-3

Publication date: 12 February 2018


Toomer, J., Caldwell, C., Weitzenkorn, S. and Clark, C. (2018), "Building Credibility", The Catalyst Effect, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 7-8.

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited

Trust, Integrity, and Credibility: Hallmarks of a Catalyst

Who will rally with you or for you in the absence of trust? In the absence of trust who will rush to your side to help move the team forward?

How important is it for colleagues and teammates to believe in your integrity, to have confidence in your motivations, and to have a conviction that you’re shooting straight with them and will stand behind your words?

The key question is, what can truly be accomplished with others without personal credibility? Think of a person you would follow to the ends of the Earth. He or she is probably someone you trust, believe in, and whom you see as fully committed to achieving common goals and objectives. They invigorate those around them. Credibility is the grease for catalytic action. When it exists in large doses, the gears of teamwork can spin smoother and faster. Being that lubricant, and being viewed by others as such, sets up the catalytic team engine to run at peak effectiveness. And it sparks reciprocity among team members, which builds greater trust and optimism, and further accelerates a team’s progress.

Building Credibility is the first of the four cornerstones of the Catalyst Effect. It is the most basic building block and is a critical piece of being a catalytic leader. Leadership researchers and acclaimed authors, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, have determined that “…credibility is the foundation of leadership…” (Kouzes & Posner, 2011, p. xvii). We would extend that beyond leadership to all relationships that work. The following three chapters explore the path for building credibility by focusing on three individual competences:

  • Acts with Integrity and Inspires Trust.

  • Communicates Clearly.

  • Invigorates with Optimism.

Of the more than 80 interviews we conducted across the sectors of business, sports, and the arts, virtually everyone pointed to credibility as the foundation for being a positive catalytic influence.