What is Wrong with Loyalty?

by on February 17th, 2015
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Webster’s Dictionary defines Loyal:

Unswerving in allegiance
Faithful in allegiance to one’s lawful sovereign or government
Faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due
Faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution or product

Trust, Honesty and Loyalty to me have always gone hand in hand, three qualities that were demanded of all of us by our parents, our teachers and we learned at a very young age, it was demanded by our friends.

There’s no question that “trust” is revered, we want to trust our spouses, we want to trust our children. We hope that we’ve earned trust from our spouses and employers. We hope that our kids can be trusted to be respectful to their teachers and to drive carefully when we hand them the car keys for the first time.
We want to trust everyone close to us in our lives and we also want them to be “honest”. It is quite simple, when someone lies to us, we no longer trust them. We expect that they could certainly lie again and if they are not honest the trust is gone. People can earn back trust over time but it is a difficult thing to do.

Trust and honesty are necessary for any successful relationship. I don’t think anyone can argue with that.

So what is wrong with “loyalty”? Being loyal was always something I was taught to be a positive quality. Early in our lives we learn to be loyal to our family. I could rip my sister apart at home but if anyone outside of our family and outside of our house said one thing about her, they would feel my wrath! She’s my sister and she has my loyalty, always!

We’re loyal to our spouses, we could be arguing as we get ready to go out with friends for the evening yet we’re not going to start slamming our spouse in public, we’re loyal.

Loyalty to your spouse not only means not cheating, it means you don’t put them down or talk badly about them to others. Being loyal means being kind and supportive. If you’re loyal the trust and the honesty follow naturally.

I think the problem with loyalty lies in people wanting to remain neutral and not wanting to get involved, not wanting to make others mad. People don’t want to take a stand and speak their mind and therefore there is no loyalty. If someone was taking jabs at my sister, whom I am fiercely loyal to, I would never remain silent. I don’t care who it is, I can guarantee it wouldn’t happen again, not in my presence. This is not only because she is my sister but because I know that she is a good person and that anything negative being said is false! What about people outside of your family? It’s easy to be loyal to family, everyone expects that, right?

You’re typically loyal to your employer, you want the business to do well so that you will do well, loyalty is the key. If you have a staff of employees who are not loyal to you, fire them. Seriously! Loyalty ensures that company secrets are not revealed, that employees won’t be bad-mouthing their own company out in the streets and to strangers.

I had an employee once who was sitting on the train on her way to work. She heard two women talking in the seat behind her, one of them was in need of the product that our company was offering. My employee could have sat there and continue to read her book but she didn’t, she turned around and sold that woman our product! That is loyalty!

I had another employee several years later who took to her Facebook page to slam the company. It took our entire Human Resource department and a slew of attorney’s to decide what to do, the company decided that this was a terminable offense and fired her. There was no previous precedence on how they would handle this type of offense but they made the decision and that was their stance going forward and the way they would treat disloyal employees as a rule in the future.

Where it is difficult to be loyal is not with family or your employer or even your friends. Those are easy! The true test of loyalty is, can you be loyal to your own feelings? Your own opinions? Your own thoughts?

If you’re at a cocktail party and a stranger that you just met begins to talk to you about a TV show that you love, or a brand of wine that you adore or a celebrity that you admire for their charity work. This stranger that you’ve never met before has strong opinions contradictory to your own. Do you stand and nod your head smiling in agreement or do you voice your opinions and explain why you don’t agree?
Who wants to get into an argument over a TV show, right? Just let it go… that show doesn’t pay you to advertise it’s merits, you have nothing to gain by showing any loyalty to this show, or this wine or this particular celebrity.

If someone is not loyal to someone you know- you can assume they won’t be loyal to you either. Because it is a may-jar character flaw!

Loyalty is not a bad thing, you have an opinion, voice it, you disagree with someone, explain why you disagree! Let your voice be heard, give of yourself and your opinions, show some loyalty and you’ll be surprised at how good it feels!

Sitting back, saying nothing and remaining neutral about something that you do have opinions about is cowardly. It’s easy to stay out of it, easy to avoid those arguments, easy to throw someone under the bus by remaining silent. What will earn you respect is standing up for yourself and your viewpoint! No one likes a blind follower, but if you have reasons and well-thought-out opinions, shout them from the rooftops! Show some loyalty, it’s not a bad word!

“The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.” –Zig Ziglar

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