Recently, in a great post on the Leadership Freak Blog ,Dan Rockwell shared: Leadership’s Most Neglected Virtue
As a Martial Arts instructor, Loyalty is a subtext that revolves frequently around Students and Instructors (especially as they advance). As a business owner, I see it time and again revolving through business relationships (especially as they “become comfortable”)
Loyalty, Like Respect is earned from receptive individuals and (when present) can flow, like Water from leaders to those receptive folks. And, Like Water, can build a reservoir which, when subjected to pressure (challenging circumstances or abundant supply), can, like an Artesian Well, spring forth; sharing it with others, nourishing the entire organization.
Like Respect and Love, Loyalty is earned by investments in the relationship…by the leader (who is that again?).
So…How does one do this? Like a handful of seeds, one cannot usually determine a viable seed (receptive individual) from from a non-viable one. Therefore, as a matter of habit, one invests in team members.
Unfortunately, like the Biblical “Parable of the Sower”, Seeds land in different places (individuals are products of their upbringing) developing differently before one has the opportunity to work together. One may also neglect “the field”, depriving it of nourishment leaving the organization to suffer; withering as a crop deprived of water.
Fortunately, unlike the aforementioned parable (after all, it’s not “the parable of the transplanter”), one gets to place these sprouts in a prepared field (organizational culture) where those individuals with an adequate “root structure” can thrive and grow.
Properly (and persistently) tended, loyalty shown “in the field” can be returned by the internally planted leaders, instilling the cultural element of Loyalty to the entire organization.