Loyalty is a word that is often used to describe our feelings towards people, groups, or causes. On Thursday, March 23 a group of ethical leaders gather to explore the topic of loyalty in relation to leadership. The notes that follow are a brief summary of the rich conversation that took place around the table. These notes are a synthesis of the notes taken by Jim Kerlin and my own revisions.
Topic: Dimensions of loyalty.
What does loyalty look like?
- There are different dimensions to loyalty. When we talk about loyalty, we are often focusing on a particular dimension: a person; a principle; a cause.
- One typically can’t be loyal to a cause unless it is on high ground.
- There needs to be congruence: when we are serving our customer but not our staff…We can generate a myopic disconnect.
- Blind loyalty
- Misplaced loyalty
- Misguided loyalty
- Betrayed loyalty
Characteristics of loyalty:
- If we are truly serving we are not expecting something back for our Loyalty.
- Loyalty can be based upon conditions and priorities. There seems to be, however, an inverse relationship between loyalty and its constraints.
- As humans we seem to have a need for loyalty.
- There is a guilt that goes with breaking a loyalty.
- One needs to ask themselves, what are my core values?
- Our core values reflect our loyalties. How we spend our time is a reflection of our values.
- Derek Deprey just wrote a book called SHIFT: Move from Frustrated to Fulfilled. The first chapter is about identifying your core values. .
- While our core values remain fairly durable over time, our priorities may change. These changes in priorities can result in shifting loyalties towards people, causes, or groups.
Leadership & loyalty:
- Loyalty is a product of trust and authentic relationships.
- When leaders share sincere words of recognition and encouragement, it can cement loyalty.
- High expectations and loyalty are not mutually exclusive. A leader that expects hard work can still build loyalty.
- When words and actions are inconsistent, loyalty towards the person, organization, or cause is weakened.
- Once trust is broken, loyalty is very difficult to re-establish.
- Conflicting loyalties are often difficult to sort out.
- Simplest answer: Be loyal and don’t expect anything in return. Just serve the people around you.
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