Leadership’s Most Neglected Virtue

Few things are more devastating than being used and abused by those you support. Disloyalty burns like no other burn. Disloyalty demoralizes.

Strength:

The strength of an organization is expressed by the loyalty of its people. Military organizations thrive because members disadvantage themselves for the advantage of others, for example.

Giving:

Calling for loyalty demands reciprocity. Sacrifice of life calls for loyalty to the fallen. “No man left behind,” is the flip side of, “Give your life for the cause.”

If you want loyalty, give it.

Have you ever heard the bull crap line, “I need you too much to promote you?”

Never be loyal to those who are disloyal.

Expression:

Loyalty is seen when:

  1. Gossip is rejected. All gossip is disloyalty.
  2. Serving others rises above serving self.
  3. Disagreement is encouraged and honored. People who won’t engage in constructive disagreement believe they’ll be thrown under the bus when it’s convenient.
  4. People own decisions even if they disagreed.
  5. Everyone is held to consistent standards. Those higher in organizations never enjoy benefit at the expense of others.
  6. Leaders take blame and share credit.

Sacrifice:

Disadvantaging self for others isn’t sacrifice when values align, it’s an honor. Standing for something enables you to stand-with.

Mistakes:

Loyalty is best seen in the context of mistakes and short-comings. Few things stir the soul more than standing with someone who fell short. Loyalty for loyalties sake is foolish, however.

Stand with those who acknowledge mistakes and make corrections. Reject those who hide mistakes and persist.

Standing “with” demonstrates and invites loyalty.

Few things bring out the best in others more than loyalty. Who are you standing with? Who stands with you?

How and when do you express loyalty?

Have you seen loyalty at work?