Loyalty

Over the past several weeks we’ve discussed a number of very detailed and specific topics…topics that mostly reflect different forms of a person’s character. I’ll end July discussing one final characteristic before moving on to broader ideas in August.

Loyalty.

I believe there are three steps for a person or team to reach the loyalty stage. The first stage is respect. I need to see a specific quality in someone that I agree with in order to begin respecting them. Stage two is trust. I can respect someone who I may not agree with or think is travelling down the correct path. But once I see and agree with path being taken, and the steps leading to that path, my trust can be earned. When and only when I feel a sense of both respect and trust towards someone, will I be able to become loyal.

Loyalty has become a rarity in recent times. A rarity in all industries…the automotive industry, government and especially professional sports. There’s nothing wrong with a little selfishness, but I’ve been one to believe that loyalty, in the long run, pays off.

On the flip side, loyalty is also earned. Earned by your company, your boss, your peers. Blind loyalty will get you nowhere. It absolutely deserves reciprocity. Like most relationships, it’s a two way street. Lee Iacocca once said, “Talk to people in their own language. If you do it well, they’ll say, ‘God, he said exactly what I was thinking.’ And when they begin to respect you, they’ll follow you to the death.”

People need a good reason to stick with an allegiance and stay faithful to their cause. The strength of a team that is both loyal to each other and to a common goal is unmatched.

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