Do you demand it or earn it?

People demand loyalty in the form of submission. You couldn’t be more wrong when you do this.

Loyalty is complicated. As a leader, the biggest thing I ever learned about this is that you can’t get loyalty out of the wrong people. People that don’t fully subscribe to whatever it is you do will never be loyal. People that don’t have an ability to trust others can’t be loyal. None of the above is a copout for me. I am not saying that any lack of loyalty is due to other people. Nope, I chose to work with these people and I didn’t take the steps to figure  out who they are and do we have a mutually beneficial thing going between us.

Besides the people I co surround myself with, my behavior is paramount. Real loyalty is never demanded, it is always earned thru daily good practices. If I am always providing service and value above and beyond anyone else, I will get loyalty from the right people. You have to grasp that nobody owes you loyalty. The world does not care what you have done for yourself in the form of your big wins and great successes. You did these things for you and you are owed nothing by anyone for these accomplishments.   

If I have taken the time to take my success and figure out how to provide a valuable something because of it, I have an opportunity to create something good. If I sit and just tell stories and demand loyalty because I sacrificed once, I am just an asshole. It is never what we have done for ourselves, it is and always will be what benefit can we provide others with the lessons we have learned.

Loyalty is really just an appreciation for what is being provided by someone. You do right by them because they have done right by you.

The wrong people confuse loyalty with demanded obedience. Do things that are worthy of respect and you can ask for that respect. Scare people into submission, that is not loyalty, that is abuse.

If your people are not doing what you ask, look at yourself instead of blaming them. If you ae afraid to let people go work with others because you are afraid they may not come back, you are just weak and you know your product or service is lacking.

Instead of closing your doors and demanding, open your doors and give people the freedom to make choices. If you have explained why and consistently provided value, the right people will stay and they will be loyal to your brand. If they venture out into the world, trust that they will bring back what they find to make you and everyone else involved better.

If you have to run your business with an iron fist it is because you don’t know how to develop a team, provide the information needed to create confidence in your people, and most likely you are not as good as you think you are. If you are that good, be that good and provide the greatest value so the right people give you loyalty based on positive things.   

Brian Wright