What is an Externally Reliable Leader?

By definition, leaders with External Reliability are honest and trustworthy to others. Their business relationships are ongoing works in progress that they have nurtured over time. People with External Reliability are, quite simply, liked. But that didn’t just happen by chance.

They built it. They earned it. And they protect it. They do so by consistently demonstrating morally sound and ethically irrefutable business practices, but even more importantly, they treat their peers, their clients, their employees, and their leaders with the respect that they would like to be afforded themselves.

Leaders with External Reliability engage their employees. When their employees have done great work, they are quick to shower them with praise. And that’s key because according to the Dale Carnegie Leadership Study, employees in the U.S. and Canada are 71% more likely to be inspired by leaders who “praise me for any performance improvement”. Conversely, when the employee has made an error, a leader with External Reliability will often help to shoulder the blame and work with the employee to find a viable solution to the error. They empathize. They know how they would like to be treated were the situation reversed. And they respond accordingly.

It’s a whole lot easier to work through a problem or accept a new challenge when you know that your leader is on your side. And that’s what leaders with External Reliability demonstrate. They’ve got your back. Every time. Not just when it works for them. They’re down in the trenches with you just as often as they’re cheering you on from the podium.

So consider this on your rise up the corporate ladder. How would you like to be treated? Because that Golden Rule that we learned in kindergarten applies just as strongly in the conference room as it did in the sandbox. When you treat people fairly, with respect, and with kindness (essentially the way that you’d like to be treated yourself), you earn their trust. See how easy that is?