Loyalty matters

Maxim #25
Be loyal to your client, your company, and your team

This maxim comes across at first a little too much like a platitude. Obviously being loyal is an important attribute if you are part of any team. What was significant about this maxim was the order we specifically chose for “client, company and team.” The strength of people’s natural loyalty is the inverse of the order we selected. Loyalty tends to be stronger to those closer to you or with whom you share some kind of common objective. We wanted this maxim to remind our staff that you also need to be loyal both to the client (customer) and to our company.

Being loyal to your client means always trying to do what is in their best interests and never talking about their confidential matters publicly, or speaking negatively about the company or its people. You need to share their objectives and protect their interests.

Being loyal to your company means the company comes before you as individual. This is important for the company to prosper, which is in everyone’s best interest. Sell the company and your team, not yourself. Also, do not let any person (client, friend, associate) put down the company without defending it.

Being loyal to your team means defending your boss, peers, and subordinates. We all get into problems in this line of work, but what often distinguishes people is how they react in a crisis and how they accept or deflect responsibility for problems. A loyal team member never sells out another person on the team. A loyal team member does not “grab the first life boat”.

There are many occasions when your loyalty gets tested. The key thought behind this maxim is that it is not enough to just be loyal to your immediate teammates, you need to be loyal to the people who employ you as well (which are clients indirectly and your company directly). When people make destructive comments about your client, company or team you need to stand up to them. Ignoring destructive comments condones them. A loyal person not only acts loyal but does not condone disloyalty in others. Loyalty takes courage and character.