If this was truly a post about creating more loyalty for your organization it would be done now. That’s because people will never be loyal to a company or an organization. People are loyal to people. They are not loyal to things. Companies and organizations are things.
Some people become “loyal” to a product because it has benefited them in someway. Other people may be “loyal” to a product or service because some famous person they like recommended it. Some of those people feel a sort of kinship with that famous person if they drink the same beer or eat the same food. Seems silly to me but companies don’t use celebrities in their ads for the heck of it.
But Authentic Loyalty requires some emotional attachment and that requires human interaction. The actual definition of loyal is “faithful allegiance.”
Loyalty rarely happens by accident. Loyalty is the result of intentional actions. Earning someone’s loyalty means you’ve taken specific actions to show them you are worthy of another person’s faith…hence the “faithful” reference,
Earning loyalty begins by always doing what you’ve said you would do. When you’ve said you would do it. The foundation of loyalty is built upon trust and reliability. If you skip those, your foundation will collapse at the first sign of trouble.
You must honor every commitment you make to the people you lead. Anything said in confidence must remain confidential. If you tell even one other person, it is no longer “in confidence” and you have broken a trust. Loyalty floats away on the river of broken trust.
Judging people is a part of leading. Leaders need to weigh their people’s strengths and weaknesses to make certain they are placing people in roles where they can excel. Leaders with a loyal following make judgments about their people without being judgmental.
Judging someone is a rational process based on the individual’s performance, both past and present. Being judgmental is rushing to judgment without reason. If you’ve ever said “all” anything or “all” any group then you’ve been judgmental. Because “all” people with tattoos are not the same. “All” republicans and all democrats are not the same. All white people and all black people are not the same. If you want to build loyalty then stop being judgmental and start seeing people for who and what they are.
Since people can only be loyal to people you need to be the real you at all times. You need to walk your talk. You need to admit when you’re wrong. You need to be okay with admitting you don’t know it all. You must give credit where credit is due. You must hold yourself to the same high standards, or higher standards, that you hold everyone else to.
Finally you must understand that you can’t do the heavy lifting of building loyalty while you’re holding a grudge. Let past slights and offensives go. To build the loyalty of your team you will need to accept every apology, even the ones you weren’t actually given. Petty grudges and past grievances, real or imagined, put walls up between you and the people you would lead. Walls that loyalty simply can not penetrate.
Building loyalty amongst the people you lead is not easy. Authentic Leaders work at it because they know absent loyalty they run the risk of disengaged people who do only what’s required of them and never more. Disengaged people have always been around, looking for someone they could be loyal to. The only difference is, these days we call those folks “quiet quitters.”
If you’re in a leadership position and you have quiet quitters in your organization then maybe it’s a loyalty issue. If it is then that’s on you, not on them.
So lead. Lead Authentically. Authentic Leadership doesn’t fix everything but it sure does seem like it does. So lead, LeadToday.
7 thoughts on “Creating Company Loyalty”
I enjoyed this article, Steve. I agree that authentic leadership has the ability to address many common issues in a workplace. I also think that quiet quitting or quitting in general, while very often influenced by direct leadership, is not always a reflection of that leader’s ability to inspire loyalty, trust, and respect. Loyalty to people, in particular respected authentic leaders, extends beyond any single work environment. I wonder how leaders learn to tell the difference between what they actually had the ability to influence and what was beyond their sphere?
Hi Lindsay, great to her from you!!!! Great question too. Time is the answer to that question, unfortunately it doesn’t teach everyone. Authentic leaders use time to get to know their environment and the people they would lead. The are “tuned in” to the vibe of the organization and that helps them recognize what they can and cannot control. Authentic Leaders will try to provide a caring environment where people feel comfortable learning together. Those leaders also know their people well enough to place them in roles where they have the best chance to succeed while fully using their skills and knowledge. They give their people every opportunity to prosper. They also know that ultimately they cannot control the level of effort their people will put forth to utilize their strengths. Over time Authentic Leaders eliminate the human tendency to attempt to control the uncontrollable and invest their time and energy on the things they can control. Inexperienced leaders are often surprised by how few things they can actually control. But it doesn’t keep them from trying which has a significant negative impact on their people and the organization.
Thank you!! Our dealerships need this positive information and affirmation
Thanks Sharon. I’m in Ohio this week with our awesome Ventrac team. But I decided to make a visit to one of our dealers too. Nice guy, I think he has potential in the business. 🙂 I think you know him too, simply one of the nicest human beings on the planet!
Excellent piece….totally on the money. Super sad that people don’t vote that way. Loyalty to any particular party…..well you can see the results!
Thanks Joe, indeed, way too much misplaced loyalty these days, especially in politics.