How To Build Credibility, Part Two

Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Leadership | No Comments

Last week, I told you that Bob Lefsetz, an individual whose updates I read fairly regularly, recently wrote a post called “Credibility.” His list was very insightful, but as he is a music writer, it required a bit of translating for us to get the most out of it in our business world context.

In Part One, we talked about the first 6 ways to build credibility. Here are ideas 7-12:

  1. TV is overrated. Bob’s thoughts: “[TV is] broadcasting in an era of narrowcasting. Anybody can be on TV, few can hold an audience captive live. Focus on the latter.” If we wish to be an entrepreneur, author, speaker, thought leader, or linchpin in any kind of business, we definitely need ways to get the word out about what we do. But TV just isn’t the holy grail it used to be. The narrow distribution channels the internet offers have infinitely more potential for building meaningful connections (see #2 & #3). And it’s cheap. TV, notsomuch.
  2. Don’t sign with the major label. Like radio (#6), a “major label deal” in music is often seen as some kind of “golden ticket” that can magically make an artist instantly viable. (For awhile this actually worked, but no longer.) Instead, Bob says, “Don’t shoot for the stars, shoot for the street.” The hard-earned following is worth far more in the long run. Also, an independent never has to be worried about being labeled a “sellout.” This again illustrates the striking shift from the goal of “instant impact” to a slowly and intentionally built grassroots movement.
  3. Don’t work with any artist without credibility. Good advice for business-types, too. We always need to be mindful of who we’re associating with. Even when it comes to the people we follow on Twitter or groups we belong to on LinkedIn — these associations connect us to certain things in the minds of others. We all know perception is reality, but it’s easy to forget that these tiny, minuscule actions are what create that perception for others.
  4. Know that now, more than ever, rewards come to those who wait. A twist on #4 and #8. Bob talks about certain YouTube stars who rocket to popularity and then fizzle quickly. My thoughts? This is simply the internet’s Rule of Remarkability — when the tail is this long, for something to get passed around it must be unquestionably remarkable. If it’s remarkably BAD, it goes viral quickly and dies just as fast. If it’s remarkably GOOD, it usually builds slowly — but with meaning and credibility. Things take time to find their audience.
  5. Have fun.This is a huge part of being able to succeed at any difficult endeavor. Why? Because it’s impossible to sustain the obscene amount of work it takes to be remarkable at something we aren’t passionate about. You’ve heard about 10,000 hours, right? Also, we’re typically better at the things that feel “fun” to us. It’s hard to have fun doing something we suck at! We’ve heard it a million times, but it may be worth a reminder: life really is too short to not enjoy the journey.
  6. Take risks. I’m only beginning to understand the complexity of this relationship, but there is something symbiotic about success and failure. It doesn’t seem possible to get to success without going through failure, so perhaps the trick is to simply fail faster and smarter. Get your idea/product/group/book/blog/album/business out there and see what happens! It’s the only way to move forward. Go do it.

Thanks again to Bob Lefsetz for creating such a great list.

What do you think? Have we missed anything? Any other credibility builders you’d like to add to the list?

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If you liked that post, then try these…

Leadership Is Not For You (Revisited) by Josh Allan Dykstra on August 22nd, 2011

Capitalism: A Love Story? by Josh Allan Dykstra on October 14th, 2009

“The Technology Of Management Is An Insult To Your Intelligence” on HuffPost by Josh Allan Dykstra on January 21st, 2017

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