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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson


Robert Stevenson Blog - A gauge for loyalty

We become loyal when we believe in something or someone; it is something that is developed—or lost—as a direct result of our own actions, behaviors, and motives. To earn the loyalty of others, your behaviors and actions have to reflect that YOU WERE LOYAL FIRST.

I can’t tell you how many leaders I’ve known, who were extremely talented, but who needlessly lost loyalty for preventable reasons.   They chose not to adhere to the rules they asked others to play by.  They asked others to make sacrifices they weren’t willing to make themselves. As a leader, you’re being watched all the time by the people you are in charge of. If you’re a person they genuinely admire, they’ll follow you anywhere.

Unhappy employees lack a key ingredient for company success – LOYALTY. High employee turnover is expensive. The costs (money) for all the time and effort your company put into properly training each employee … walks right out the door when they quit. That is expensive knowledge which has now been wasted because you weren’t able to create a sense of loyalty. Jack Welch, famed former CEO of GE, was known for handwritten letters of praise to his top employees. Those employees later recalled how happy they were after receiving a short thank you note from their boss and how it impacted their performance. Always be on the lookout for ways to compliment your employees or associates.

It doesn’t matter if you are in a management position or not, creating loyalty is important to your success. Having loyal friends and associates is a sign that you can be a great leader, if you so choose. Those who understand the concept of true loyalty know you can’t buy it. Buying loyalty only works until someone else is willing to pay more. You don’t ask for it, you work for it. It is earned, not demanded and you will get it when you deserve it.

Here are a few tips on how you can earn loyalty:

  • You need to maintain high standards before expecting others to.

  • Correct people to make them better, not tear them down to make them feel worse.

  • Enable others’ success by enhancing their strengths and improving their performance.

  • Stand behind people when they make a mistake. A first-time error is a learning experience. The second-time is a mistake.

  • Publicly admit when you are wrong.

  • Be emotionally steady. Mood swings can create uncertainty, anxiety, and fear.

  • Be the model of the behaviors you expect to see in others.

  • Shine the spotlight on people by sharing their success with others.

There is an anonymous quote that I will paraphrase: “I will cut people out of my life with no hesitation, if I feel they can’t be trusted. I am getting too old to be hanging out with people who don’t understand the concept of loyalty.” There is a lot of wisdom in that quote. Why would anyone want to be involved with a person who can’t be loyal to them? Remember, creating loyalty starts with being loyal.

Create a “Corporate Culture” that influences the level of loyalty for all employees. To do so, your behaviors and actions have to reflect that YOU WERE LOYAL FIRST.


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