Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It, 2nd Edition
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More About This Title Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It, 2nd Edition


The first true revision of the classic book from the bestselling author of The Leadership Challenge

As the world falls deeper into economic downturns and warfare, the question of credibility (how leaders gain and lose it) is more important than ever. Building on their research from The Leadership Challenge, James Kouzes and Barry Posner explore in Credibility why leadership is above all a relationship, with credibility as the cornerstone, and why leaders must "Say what you mean and mean what you say." This first full revision of the book since its initial publication in 1993 features new case studies from around the world, fully updated data and research, and a streamlined format. Written by the premier leadership experts working today, Credibility:

  • Reveals the six key disciplines that strengthen a leader's capacity for developing and sustaining credibility.
  • Provides rich examples of real managers in action
  • Includes updates to the applications and research

This personal, inspiring, and genuine guide helps you understand the fundamental importance of credibility for building personal and organizational success.


James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner are the coauthors of the classic bestselling books The Leadership Challenge, The Truth About Leadership, A Leader's Legacy, Encouraging the Heart, and over a dozen other books and workbooks on leadership. They also developed the highly-acclaimed Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), a 360-degree assessment tool based on The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. Jim is the Dean's Executive Fellow of Leadership and Barry is Professor of Leadership at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business. They are among the world's most trusted and influential scholars on leadership. For more information, please visit


Introduction On Credibility and the Restoration of Trust and Confidence xi

1 Leadership Is a Relationship 1

2 Credibility Makes a Difference 22

3 Discover Your Self 42

4 Appreciate Constituents 62

5 Affirm Shared Values 84

6 Develop Capacity 111

7 Serve a Purpose 132

8 Sustain Hope 153

9 The Struggle to Be Human 174

Epilogue Character Counts 201

Notes 203

Acknowledgments 229

About the Authors 233

Index 237