Loyalty. The word congers up something good… like a loyal friend, loyal employee, and of course, loyal pet.
Cognitively we know that the definition doesn’t change (‘the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations; faithful adherence to a sovereign, government, leader, cause, etc.’) but our perception of how it’s applied may make loyalty good one minute and not so good another.
For example: being ‘loyal to a cause’; if you’re loyal to MY cause, it’s a good thing, but if you’re loyal to the other side, well…I may think you’re either nuts or your loyalties are misplaced.
What about ‘blind’ loyalty? I’m embarrassed to say that on more than one occasion I have adopted the viewpoint of a friend rather than think and research the information to develop my own opinion. I think this is a kind of blind loyalty.
Too, I remember while growing up I did some things that my older sister talked me into doing that could have really hurt us both. We now look back on and say, “What were we thinking?” Has blind loyalty ever affected your thoughts or actions?
More gray areas exist when it comes to loyalty in politics. Thomas Jefferson wrote: “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” Thought provoking words as local and national politics and philosophies often create divisions in our community.
From a business perspective, do you think the following statements true or false?
- As a paid employee, my employer deserves my loyalty.
- As a competitive business owner, my employees deserve my loyalty.
It would be helpful for each of us to determine how we think about loyalty at work well ahead of the time when we find ourselves in a situation that requires immediate action and where loyalty is in play.
I wish you a safe and happy summer!!!