Did you ever try to sit in a comfortable manner on a three-legged stool that had only one or two legs? You can't, because it has no balance. The stool needs each of its three vital components to maintain its stability. It's the same with leaders who want to establish and maintain their credibility. When they maintain balance with three essential elements of credibility, they will both support and have the support of their teams.
Just as a stool stands on three legs, credibility stands on three important elements: good sense, good character and good will. When all three elements are present and in balance, they build a strong foundation that will support you.
People with good sense are generally good managers. They build high-performance teams that consistently meet their goals. They are competent supervisors who are efficient and capable at what they do. It is also common for them to be very knowledgeable, have strong backgrounds in their fields and keep up to date on industry trends.
In order to be a successful leader, you need to demonstrate good character. You don't have to resort to extreme measures to prove yourself; you just have to do what you say you'll do. The key is honesty in action. Leaders who establish, communicate and live their values gain the trust of their followers. A credible leader with good character is honest, has strong ethics and is courageous.
Emotionally strong and intelligent leaders understand that supporting their employees is an essential element in building stable and lasting relationships. A supportive leader:
Empathizes. When you put yourself in the other person's shoes, you force yourself to see issues and events from another perspective.
Understands. One of the habits that Stephen Covey ascribed to highly effective people is: "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
Responds. If you show your subordinates that you understand their situation but then take no action to improve it, you are not being actively supportive.