Do you need a little credibility?

Credibility- worthy of belief or confidence; trustworthy. Everyone wants to ultimately be incredible, but just as important on your list of t0-do's should be becoming credible.

Credibility is something we should all strive for. But gaining credibility- whether with your peers in the office, new clients, a mentor, your boss, leaders in your community, or just people you look up to- takes time and intentionality.

So here are a few thoughts from my perspective on gaining credibility:

1. Be Self Aware- first, you have to have an accurate understanding of who you are and where you are in life. A very clear and realistic picture of your self identity and current reality. If you are 24, you have to understand that life experiences and job experience probably aren't something you can hang your hat on when it comes to being credible.

2. Listen, Listen, Listen. Ask great questions of those around you, and then LISTEN to the answer. Don't talk until you have something to say. But learn to ask great questions and learn from them. This is especially true in a team environment or with someone you look up to.

3. Experience creates expertise- this is obvious, but sometimes we forget. Credibility comes with action- doing, not just thinking or talking. Jump in and get involved. Do something. A little dirt on your hands and sweat on your brow goes a long ways.

4. A platform takes time- it's just a reality. Most of us aren't patient enough to spend adequate TIME at DOING something until we gain a platform or credibility. We usually lose interest, get bored, or just simply move on to something else. The key- stick with it. Gladwell says it takes at least 10,000 hours.

5. Connect with leading organizations, networks and individuals- connect with companies, teams or individuals who are highly respected, and you'll gain respect. But the key on this- connect with them and ask how you can HELP them, not how you can gain from them.

6. Hungry 2nd, not arrogant 1st. Act like you don't belong. No one enjoys being around someone who thinks they deserve way more credibility than they really do. Stay hungry and motivated, with an attitude and posture like you really don't belong in the conversation.

7. Deliver. Do what you said you would do. Follow through. No matter how significant or insignificant the task or assignment, get it done. He who is faithful with little will be faithful with much. Credibility is built over time because of hundreds and hundreds of small assignments done well.