A young friend of mine in his early twenties asked me the other day how I had gained credibility and a platform over the last 10-15 years. The first thing that is important to know about my answers and my perspective: this is a work still in progress. I have not arrived. But after giving him some thoughts on this, I thought it might be helpful to the community here on the blog. So here you go- my thoughts 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.