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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Establishing Credibility

The purpose of leadership communications, as pointed out in Chapter 1, is to build (or establish) trust between leader and follower. This trust is essential to a leader's credibility. Lyndon Johnson lost the trust of the American people over his conduct of the Vietnam War. His accomplishments in civil rights legislation and the war on poverty were overshadowed by his refusal to be straight with the American people, or even with himself, over the issues involved in Vietnam. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen suffered an enormous lack of credibility in the wake of its faulty auditing. Its lack of accountability (no pun intended) destroyed the company and cast a harsh light on other major accounting firms that were beset with their own scandals. The financial markets, too, reverberated as investors wondered if they could trust the financial statements of any company.

Credibility is a leader's currency. With it he or she is solvent; without it he or she is bankrupt. Communications reinforces a leader's credibility. How can a leader establish credibility (see Figure 3-1)?


Establishing Credibility

Figure 3-1:  Establishing Credibility


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