This beautiful picture of the kind of loyalty that extends beyond the grave represents more than deep, profound love. It's a duty that knows no limits. Even death didn't free this amazing creature from the bonds of loyalty.
Loyalty to family. For most of us, this does, and should, come first. Many self-help gurus say that loyalty to self comes first, but later in this post you'll see why I disagree. Loyalty to family means our loved ones get the the best of us. They get their needs met and more. They are defended, protected, and upheld through whatever trials come and they will come.
Your loyalty affords your family the freedom to trust that you're on their side and will never forsake them for anyone or anything. This extends from keeping your word in all things, to maintaining marital fidelity, to exercising discretion when sharing details about your spouse or kids, to providing ample time for each family member, and more.
Loyalty to coworkers. What does loyalty to a coworker really look like? The Gallup organization has done some amazing research on the topic of well being. They found that a person's well being improves if they have a best friend at work. Considering how many hours we spend in the workplace, it makes perfect sense that we would be better off if we had that one person we knew would could count on. And while not everyone can be a "best friend" we should be in the habit of treating all others the way we would treat our best friend.
Loyalty to coworkers = BFF behavior. Like this:
- Extend trust first
- Communicate openly and candidly
- Offer a servant's heart
- Love others as you love yourself
Loyalty to employer. There is a shift happening in the business landscape currently that is encouraging to watch. Organizations are finding their soul. Or, maybe a better way of saying that is they are finding their purpose.
Many forward-thinking organizations are discovering there is more to life than the bottom line. The realization of a larger purpose has spurred a great awaking within the corporate culture to look at our people, planet, and products through a new lens. A lens that brings the needs of the world around us into a bright, crisp, high-definition focus.
By allowing this higher-purpose idea to drive an organization's heartbeat, overwhelming employer loyalty has manifested itself. Should you desire to create this type of loyalty within your organization consider these key insights from Whole Foods founder, John MacKey, from the book he co-wrote, Conscience Capitalism:
- Have a higher purpose
- Integrate your key stakeholders
- Have conscience leadership
- Create and maintain a conscience culture
Loyalty to self. I put this last because I truly believe that being loyal to family, coworkers, and employers as I've described above creates such a sense of well-being that it ultimately is being loyal to yourself. In other words, I feel the best about myself when I'm doing right by my family. I feel proud of myself when I'm treating others as I would want to be treated and offering my best work. And when I allow my passion for doing what is right because it is the right thing to do take over then I am being loyal to myself. The power that exists inside me to be a true difference maker is intense and begins with the simple idea of loyalty!
What does your loyalty look like?
Let's seek new ways to live and thrive in loyalty so we can uncover the very best in ourselves and others.