Research shows that only 49 percent of employees trust their senior management, and only 28 percent believe CEOs are a credible source of information. This is an alarming statistic. Trust goes hand in hand with credibility. Credibility is something that all leaders and potential leaders must aspire to obtain. Establishing credibility as a leader isn't something that happens instantly. It's a process that involves time, effort, and patience, but it's totally worth investing in for successful leadership. Credibility positions leaders as a highly dependable source of expertise, information, and decision making. A credible leader focuses on creating win-win situations for all.

Credible leaders walk the talk and make their actions speak louder than their words--they deliver what they promise. Leaders with established credibility are respected and trusted. Here's a list of habits that credible leaders practice every day of the week:

1. They are respectful

Credible leaders don't insult, manipulate, or humiliate anyone publicly or privately. These leaders are aware that respect is key in gaining people's loyalty and respect in return.

2. They are honest

Credible leaders are transparent with their actions and have no hidden agendas. These leaders foster an honest environment where unethical behavior isn't tolerated.

3. They are educated

Credible leaders are continually learning to expand their knowledge and expertise. These leaders lead by example and recognize the importance of ongoing education to help them achieve what is required and more.

4. They are competent

Credible leaders possess much more than a basic understanding of their field. These leaders are experts at developing multiple solutions to problems and situations they are faced with.

5. They are accountable

Credible leaders take full responsibility for their actions and decisions. These leaders accept when they make a mistake and do everything that is needed to amend it in a prompt manner.

6. They are loyal

Credible leaders remain true to themselves and watch out for the interests of others. These leaders are supportive and really care about people--this is what helps gain reciprocal loyalty.

7. They are trusting

Credible leaders are confident about the abilities of people and know how to delegate effectively. These leaders acknowledge that people become more engaged and committed when they are trusted.