The First Thing Is Loyalty

Last week I shared what defines a friendship in the truest test of the word. If I could sum it up in one word, it would be LOYALTY. The first thing I look for in a relationship is loyalty. It is the proof of trust. The second thing is … loyalty.

I love the game of business. I guess the biggest reason is because I get to find out if people are for real. Do they believe in what they are pursuing or selling? Do they hold on when adversity hits? Loyalty is a diamond in a rough. As speed has forced higher pressure on all of us, business has become more of a crucible. The urgency to make money, keep a job, keep a customer and make decisions tests our mettle.

Why does loyalty matter in business or relationships? Because whether we like it or not, we live in an imperfect world. It is impossible for everything to always work out exactly according to an ideal. However, we have a lot of performance-based thinking in our culture. People expect perfection; they think there is something wrong when failure occurs.

Successes are a result of the correct steps in sequence. However, we only know these steps from knowledge and experience. No one goes out to fail. It happens because of discovery towards success. This is where loyalty matters a great deal. When you fail, you need loyalty. You need people rooting for you who care. Disloyal people will jump off your bandwagon when you stop performing for them.

If you want your life and business to grow, take Bill Cosby’s advice:

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

There are certainly loyal employees, friends, co-workers, and customers in your life. Reward loyalty with an unbalanced favoritism. Take care of the employee who you know is loyal; don’t take them for granted. Reward your customer who has been loyal with the highest levels of service and gratitude. Give more time to your two friends who outshine the rest in your life. You will be putting your energy where it counts.

Recognizing and reciprocating the currency of loyalty is a powerful leadership trait. If you can catch the depths of this principle, then you will start unlocking a fuller existence. You will stop trying to please everyone. You will see who your true fans are. You will be leading.

Here are three actions you can take with different groups:

  1. Loyal Customers: Show gratitude and go the extra mile. Thank them for sticking with you through the challenges of your growth. Help them grow their business.
  2. Loyal Friends: Take them out for a special time doing the very things they love. Treat it like it was their birthday. Let them know you recognize their loyalty and that you would get in the foxhole with them anytime in life. Be a true friend.
  3. Loyal Family: Tell them you love them. Tell them five specific reasons why. Never take them for granted.

I am a collector of loyal people. I look for them. I look for it in the people I hire and the customers I do business with. I seek it in my friendships. It is a rare find, but it is one of the driving forces behind my own personal pursuit of excellence. I hope it will fuel your own life as you recognize it by looking for it.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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