The Truth about External Reliability: As a Leader Honesty is the Best Policy (Honestly!)

What exactly is External Reliability?

In contrast to a leader with Internal Reliability (someone who is consistently true to thine own principles and beliefs; true to “Thine own self”), leaders with External Reliability are honest and trustworthy to others. While it’s important to hold firmly to personal values, leaders are less likely to accomplish goals without the trust of those around them.

Trust. The word can be a noun or a verb, but it’s important to note that in business, it’s a relationship. You’ve heard it many times — you need to build trust with clients, your peers, your direct reports — and in the work place that translates to solidifying your relationships. Leaders with External Reliability have laid the groundwork for this reciprocity their entire working careers. They have earned trust. In spades.

External Reliability may not be the only characteristic that a leader needs to keep their employees happy, but in the Dale Carnegie Leadership Study 2016 it was revealed that when a leader lacks External Reliability, just 4% of their employees are satisfied with their jobs. When employees have a leader who can be truthful with others, job satisfaction jumps to 39%. So clearly, having a leader who can be trusted is important.

So the million dollar question is, “How do you earn the trust of others?” Sadly, no one’s winning a million dollars because there’s no pat answer. Trust is not just earned, it’s built. It’s a process. An ongoing process. In order to gain External Reliability, a leader must consistently take the ethical and moral high road. One could actually conclude that to have External Reliability, a leader must first possess Internal Reliability. Because when you are true to your principles, people notice. In a good way!