Over the past several months the concept of loyalty has come up in several conversations - what it is, its importance, and how one gets and/or gives it. Giving loyalty to another person is an extreme act of confidence and love, especially when it is not asked for. Gaining loyalty from another person can never be forced or demanded...it is simply through repeated actions that loyalty can truly be given. So how might those in leadership roles gain the loyalty of others? Here are my five Cs of how to gain one's loyalty...
Competence - loyalty begins when one sees their leader as competent. Can they do the job well? Do they go above and beyond what is required? Are they constantly learning and getting better at their work? And remember that for those in leadership roles, one's work is leading...how are you becoming better at leading?
Charisma - this word can be described as charm, presence, or personality, an essence that requires the leader to put themselves "out there" and act in a manner that draws others to them. This is not a false bravado or a fake personality...this is the ability to charm others, to bring one's whole self into the room, and to inspire others that the leader knows who they are and what they are about.
Caring - perhaps this goes without saying, but it is critical that leaders are seen and known for their caring attitude. Those in leadership positions often have to make hard decisions tht can hurt others in deep ways. When that is done in a caring manner, and when the default personality of the leader is one of caring, others will fall in line to follow because they know that they have worth adn value, even in the midst of hard decisions.
Courage - similar to above, people in leadership roles are often asked to make difficult decisions on a regular basis. When those decisions are made courageously, others take notice and begin to give their loyalty to that person. Courageous decisions inspire a sense of confidence in others and allows them to live out their vocations in a courageous manner.
Character - one of the definitions of character has to do with how one behaves when no one else is looking. Is there a consistency to the leader's behavior over time? Do they exhibit a sense of certainty in the course of ther daily work? Do they uphold the ideals of the organization time after time? Would you trust them with your own life?
Sounds like a large order...as if those in leadership roles must be akin to being god-like. The truth is leaders will fail from time to time...they will show a side of themselves that is less than competent, less than charismatic, less than caring, less than courageous, and less than being of good character. These are the times leaders ask for forgiveness...and those who are loyal to them will give them that forgiveness, And when that happens, relationships - and organizations - grow even stronger.