Leadership Credibility: The Fallibility Paradox

Access this 10-minute training video now and show managers in your organization a powerful concept to help them build and maintain their credibility as leaders.

You’ll learn:

  • One of the most common, and most preventable, mistakes leaders make that destroys their hard-earned credibility
  • What we mean by the Fallibility Paradox – and why it’s the key to maintaining credibility over the long-term
  • What caused one leadership success story to end in abject failure.

Why are we giving you access to this video for free? Because it’s the best way we know to introduce you to a new approach to leadership & management training.

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More information for those who love the details …

Where does leadership credibility come from?

Credibility as a leader usually doesn’t come from any innate leadership ability. Hardly anyone is born with the exact mix of skills that make them a great natural leader. Most managers earn their leadership role for another reason; their Confidence Base.

A manager’s Confidence Base is the one thing he or she does exceptionally well. It’s the competence that got them recognized and promoted into management.

But despite a manager’s exceptional talent in a given area, a single fatal mistake can destroy their credibility as a leader, and potentially derail their career. That mistake is to abandon their Confidence Base. People usually fall into this trap for one of two reasons:

  1. Lack of awareness: They simply don’t see that exceptional competency in a single area – their Confidence Base – was what earned them the chance to show whether they could lead.
  2. Overconfidence: They know their Confidence Base but they don’t feel limited by it. They believe they have some exceptional gift that will allow them to succeed in endeavors that are outside their area of core competency.

The Fallibility Paradox

Great leaders understand the Fallibility Paradox, which says this:

Your credibility is proportional to your willingness to admit fallibility.

But that’s self-contradictory, isn’t it? Is it really possible that when leaders say, “I don’t know” or “I can’t do that,” that their credibility actually rises? Yes, it’s true.

Say you had a pain in your lower back and went to an orthopedist. After a thorough exam he tells you your back’s fine but you may have a kidney problem. You’d expect him to say, “I don’t do kidneys. Go see a kidney specialist.” If he doesn’t refer you to someone else, you may begin to question his credibility – and you should. Good doctors never diagnose outside their Confidence Base.

Managers, however, aren’t always so good at recognizing their limits and are often reluctant to say, “I don’t know” or, “I can’t do that.” As a result, they put their credibility on the line – especially when they don’t deliver the results they promised.

Access the Leadership Credibility video now and give your leadership team the confidence to recognize and work effectively around their limitations.

Great leaders keep their egos in check

It’s common for managers to think that if they are good at one thing, of course they’d be good at the next skill they try to master. But the more they branch out, the further they stray from their Confidence Base, and the greater their risk for failure — especially when they don’t recognize their fallibility.

That’s where the trouble begins. Overconfidence can lead to poor decisions that can cost the organization dearly, and can ultimately ruin the manager’s credibility as a leader.

Great leaders know to keep their ego in check. It’s that self-awareness and humility that builds credibility as a leader.

Learn more about leadership credibility, the Confidence Base and The Fallibility Paradox. Get your video as part of a free trial to the Leadership & Management Rapid Learning Center.


Steve Meyer
Stephen Meyer
CEO, Rapid Learning Institute


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