Leading with Loyalty: LOVE at Work
December 7th 2015
Love at work is possible, practical, and productive. I’m beginning to understand, though, that it is not simply a goal — a plug ’n play entry into your current mission statement. If love is to be made real at work, it must be an outcome of specific thoughts and behaviors. Love is the result of Loyalty, Openness, Vulnerability, and Empathy. I know: these are not words you hear a lot in firms. But we have to start somewhere if we want to build strong cultures on something other than profit. Love is a great place to begin.
So how can we demonstrate love, and what does that feel like? Let’s start with loyalty.
First, a definition from Google’s dictionary: the quality of being loyal to someone or something; a strong feeling of support or allegiance. Loyalty is one of those words we may have a tough time describing, but we know it when we experience it. It could look like this:
- Faced with a client complaint about a team member, you choose to talk with that team member before rendering any judgment or reaching any conclusion.
- When someone in your firm faces personal difficulties, you do not shy away from awkward conversations. You overcome your own discomfort, initiate those conversations and offer to help.
- When you lead with loyalty, you create the possibility that your team will emulate your behavior. Equally important, in being a loyal leader, you show up every day as your best self — as the leader you want to be.
Ideally, loyalty is a two-way street, but not always. You can be loyal to every team member, and they might still take the next offer that comes their way. You can help people till your hands ache, but they still might bite your hand. So what? Be loyal anyway. This whole process has to start with one person. That person needs to be you, the leader.
<span style="\"font-kerning:" none\"="">When you lead with loyalty, you create the possibility that your team will emulate your behavior. Equally important, in being a loyal leader, you show up every day as your best self — as the leader you want to be.