cover image Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It

Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It

James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. Jossey-Bass, $27.95 (236p) ISBN 978-0-470-65171-1

This timely new edition of Kouzes and Posner's 1993 text incorporates research that reflects the increasing importance of credibility for effective leadership. The authors offer strategies to enhance credibility by reaffirming values and not promising results that can't be delivered, arguing that credibility and loyalty are inextricably linked. In their view, a leader lacking credibility suffers from diminished productivity and a lack of loyalty, creating constituents indifferent to outcomes and low morale. While Kouzes and Posner (The Leadership Challenge) offer useful advice for would-be leaders, as well as for a general business audience, they tend to repeat themselves and present an idealized view of the workplace. They offer very little advice about how to approach superiors who may not appreciate forthrightness, and in fact, the book's best advice is for leaders who already have the power to shape corporate culture. That said, the book is easy to follow and offers actionable advice, even if readers grow frustrated with its rose-tinted glasses. (Aug.)