Parenting and Leadership: Credibility

In the world of leadership, regardless of what profession, credibility counts for everything. If you are a manager, a supervisor, a lieutenant, or any other leadership position, your credibility is your bread and butter.

Leaders who lack credibility with their subordinates, in my humble opinion, might as well find new work. The same goes for parenting. My little guy is too young to understand this, but I can see it already. As he grows, he is going to listen to my words, and look at my actions. I have to maintain my credibility or I could easily “lose” my son.

Parents are accountable to their kids. Whether we admit it or not, they are actually in control. To possess the ability to guide them, it all begins with our credibility. So below are few things you can do to maintain your credibility, not just with your kids, but with others too:

  1. Mean what you say and say what you mean. The worst thing a parent can do is to not stand by their words. The same goes for leaders. Giving lip service will destroy your credibility instantly.
  2. Be honest. Honesty is the best policy. If you don’t know something, say so. Nothing is worse than faking knowledge. Remember, your kids are looking to you for guidance. If you don’t know, they don’t know. That can be dangerous.
  3. Hold everyone equally accountable. Whether it’s your kid, an employee, your spouse, Santa Claus, well maybe not Santa, you get my point. Everyone needs to know you will hold them accountable. Your kids especially.
  4. Don’t always appease. There are times you need to appease someone. I believe in picking your battles. The same goes for your kids. Sometimes, you may need to give them what they want as you will get what you want later on. But don’t rely on appeasing. Once you give, you can’t take back.
  5. Finally, and probably most important, communicate. Communicate, communicate, communicate…responsibly. Don’t give up the family secrets, but communication breaks down barriers with kids and others alike. Also, when communicating remember number 1 and 2 above.

I do wonder if you more experienced parents out there agree with me or not? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

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8 thoughts on “Parenting and Leadership: Credibility

  1. Very true. I suppose my experience would suggest one minor rephrase: your son will hear your words, but he will repeat your actions. As you have noted, standing by them becomes critical. We can talk a good game about anything we want as parents and as leaders (work/life balance, finances, discipline, values…) but how we model will always be the litmus test for whether or not we mean it. For me, that is never more true than in my home, and I tell senior leaders the same thing in my work as a coach.

    • I like the rephrase. You make an excellent point, they will hear the words, no guarantee they will listen. I’ve seen many leaders not model what they say. Same thing with parents, your words must be followed by actions. Great points.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your perspective.

      -Vince

  2. Absolutely-great post. Love seeing people (especially dads) being intentional about their parenting and their leadership. Just wrote a whole book on it, in fact πŸ™‚

  3. Your most important point is no 5, Vince. When our kids were little we always talked to them – about the big things as well as the little things. We took the view that if we couldn’t talk to them at that time. we’d have no chance when they were teenagers. Well, they are teenagers now and – inevitably – there have been some tough times, but we have a great relationship with all three of them, and touch wood, they’re all doing well. So talk, talk, talk to your kids. And then talk some more.

  4. Pingback: Why People Won’t Listen To You… and what you can do about it | Coaching Leaders

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