Leaders have to take care of numerous things. They have to make sure they reach the goals, they need to challenge and develop their team member, they have a huge influence on shaping the culture and so on and so on. So, why should they also care about loyalty?
Today’s entry is inspired by a short video by Simon Sinek about: The Benefits of Being a Leader Are Real. But Are There Costs?
Frequent readers of this blog might have heard it before: leading means serving. That’s what my professor always told us, and I couldn’t agree more. This serving attitude directly relates to the creation of loyalty. When I, as a leader, put my own interests in the back and focus on the interests of my team member, I not only create engaged and creative employees, but also loyal ones. The other way around, if I feel that my superior does everything in her or his power that I can succeed at work and that I feel seen and protected, I will protect him or her as well.
Simon Sinek used a nice story to illustrate this. Even 10.000 years ago we had a social contract. Even back then we lived in groups. Strong men would get to eat first and often mate first. But they couldn’t just do what they want. In order to survive, they needed to take care of others. For example, if my job back then would be to alarm people about a threat at night, and the strong alpha would sleep, I would think twice about to wake him when I have an aversion towards him, because he didn’t treat me well. I expect him to take care of me and to protect me. In return, he will get the aforementioned perks.
The same is true in today’s society. A leader gets a lot of perks. A higher salary, more influence, more creative tasks and often he or she has a higher status in society which brings along its own benefits (yes, I also speak about mating again ^^). But I, as an employee, have expectations towards my superior. I want him to take care of me and to protect me. I need to feel that the unspoken agreement we have is mutually beneficial.
If I don’t have this feeling, why should I care about his own interests when I don’t feel that his is taking care of mine? In contrast, our professor told us a story about one of his companies he worked at. Following his credo of leading means serving, he was very popular. Once, another leader tried to trick him into something, but he was warned by the employees and could therefore circumvent this attack. Loyalty can be the backbone of your leadership. If you have loyal employees, you can feel safe at night, knowing that they will have your back when a threat occurs. But, keep in mind that they expect something in return.
Have a wonderful day and take care =)