Leadership and Loyalty


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about leadership and loyalty. I know that if I want anyone to be loyal to me, I am going to have to earn that loyalty.

Loyalty is earned through relationship.

It doesn’t matter who I am, what I’ve accomplished in the past, or what title I have been given–while these things may earn one’s respect, I don’t deserve anyone’s loyalty if I’m not willing to take the time to go to them where they’re at, and learn about who they are. I don’t deserve anyone’s loyalty if I’m not willing to sit down with them and help them hammer out a strategy which will enable them to succeed.

To earn people’s loyalty I have to make them feel as though they can take on the world and accomplish whatever they have a passion for. I can not do that from a distance–I have to get right into their lives and learn all that I can about them; and then find ways to use my resources and experience to empower them.

I know from my own experience that you just can’t help but be loyal to the people who have spent time with you, encouraged you, and empowered you to do what is burning in your heart to do.

I thank God that I have some people in my life like that right now.

“Loyalty demands participation, the rest is simply wishful thinking.”~Unknown

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6 responses to “Leadership and Loyalty

  1. Interesting as I myself am going through this thought process right now.
    Only I am trying to balance my time correctly in order to build those few relationships.
    A bit of a trying exercise for me.

  2. Great post Harley,

    We’ve heard a lot about loyalty over the years, sometimes from leaders demanding our loyalty – like that’s going to work! Loyalty only works through committed relationship.

    For years Terry and I put 33 kids to bed each night, trying to spend quality time with each one… Now we have a growing number of leaders across Asia, guys like Harley, who we love and are amazed by – and they live in other countries. Meanwhile those who lead me, the ones who have my loyalty, get farther away and the visits fewer. Yet I feel more loyal than ever to them, because after 30 years of relationship building, trust is settled and these relationships function as they should.

    Rich Conte and I are working on a book called ‘Covenant of Brothers’ which I believe will be a big help to men who want to walk in covenant relationship but dread manipulation.

    • That’s sounds like a great book! And written by two men who know what they’re talking about. I’m looking forward to reading it.

      Here in Cambodia I have seen some people try to earn loyalty through some very shallow methods, but I’ve also seen people here who have created some very strong and loyal relationships. I, being a big time introvert, am learning I have to be more engaging with the people around me.

  3. Pingback: What would you choose? Loyalty or competence | Dimension 6 New Zealand

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