Exploring loyalty with ethical leaders

Loyalty is a word that is often used to describe our feelings towards people, groups, or causes.  On Thursday, March 23 a group of ethical leaders gather to explore the topic of loyalty in relation to leadership.  The notes that follow are a brief summary of the rich conversation that took place around the table.  These notes are a synthesis of the notes taken by Jim Kerlin and my own revisions.

Topic: Dimensions of loyalty.

What does loyalty look like?

  • There are different dimensions to loyalty.  When we talk about loyalty, we are often focusing on a particular dimension:  a person; a principle; a cause.
  • One typically can’t be loyal to a cause unless it is on high ground.
  • There needs to be congruence:  when we are serving our customer but not our staff…We can generate a myopic disconnect.
  • Blind loyalty
  • Misplaced loyalty
  • Misguided loyalty
  • Betrayed loyalty

Characteristics of loyalty:

  • If we are truly serving we are not expecting something back for our Loyalty.
  • Loyalty can be based upon conditions and priorities.  There seems to be, however, an inverse relationship between loyalty and its constraints.
  • As humans we seem to have a need for loyalty.
  • There is a guilt that goes with breaking a loyalty.

Personal loyalty:

  • One needs to ask themselves, what are my core values?
  • Our core values reflect our loyalties.  How we spend our time is a reflection of our values.
  • Derek Deprey just wrote a book called SHIFT: Move from Frustrated to Fulfilled.  The first chapter is about identifying your core values.  .
  • While our core values remain fairly durable over time, our priorities may change.  These changes in priorities can result in shifting loyalties towards people, causes, or groups.

Leadership & loyalty:

  • Loyalty is a product of trust and authentic relationships.
  • When leaders share sincere words of recognition and encouragement, it can cement loyalty.
  • High expectations and loyalty are not mutually exclusive.  A leader that expects hard work can still build loyalty.
  • When words and actions are inconsistent, loyalty towards the person, organization, or cause is weakened.
  • Once trust is broken, loyalty is very difficult to re-establish.
  • Conflicting loyalties are often difficult to sort out.
  • Simplest answer:  Be loyal and don’t expect anything in return.  Just serve the people around you.

If you would like to receive reminders of Servant-Leader roundtables in the Milwaukee area, you can join our mailing list by going to:  http://eepurl.com/bdHlBD
Our web site can be found at:  http://www.s-l-milwaukee.com/

Copyright 2017, Dan Lococo.  All rights reserved.

Author: Dan Lococo, PhD

I am a whole person called to engage with others as they realize their own wholeness. Service is the act of engaging with others on their journey to realizing their own wholeness. (December, 2013)

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