A person I often work with recently asked if I was still loyal. The answer was yes and still the question was uncomfortable.
We all expect loyalty… from our friends, co-workers, boss, spouse or partner, and from our employees. What are we really asking?
Being loyal means you honor and respect a person enough to have real conversations. This is my kind of loyalty. It sounds something like this: "I have your back and you can count on me to be there, deliver, and not bullshit you." Please have those conversations with me!
They say the road to improvement is paved with good intentions. Yet people often don’t say the hard stuff as they want to please the boss. They don’t want to upset the boss as there may be "hell to pay." In this environment, people on your own team won’t say things that truly need to be said in the spirit of helping the team.
Loyalty is tricky.
Leaders often face this challenge: the higher up the proverbial food chain you get, the more withholds you encounter. And for the record, a withhold is just a dressed-up lie! Not long ago, someone asked me, "whose side are you on?" I was stunned and responded,
"I am on the side of progress and supportiveness."
I define loyalty as honoring your commitments and responsibilities. It's being the kind of leader, partner, coach, and raving fan you can count on as all in.
What is your loyalty expectation? How does it serve you? More importantly, how does it limit you and your team?
Loyalty. It’s playing "All in!"