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Loyalty: more than a quaint notion

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Not everybody is ready to step up, so congratulations. Here are a few guiding principles on building loyalty and trust:

  • Leave your ego in the parking lot.Yes, you need self-confidence, but a leader’s job is not about empowering yourself. It’s about doing that for everybody around you.
  • Grow antennae, not horns. Think about meetings this way:You’re going in there to find out what’s messed up and fix it.
  • Show maturity. Leaders exhibit a good sense of timing, think before they act and put themselves in other people’s shoes.
  • Build trust. If you don’t follow through on your promises, or if you appear to mock people when you’re just joking around, you will have a hard time winning their loyalty. Mistrust is reversible, but it might take awhile.
  • Give away glory. If you’ve ever been tagged a narcissist, now is the time to lose that label. Take every scrap of blame on yourself and give away all the glory. This is not merely so you can act like a sponge and soak up bad news. It also should poke you to question and improve your processes, which will be really hard at first, before it becomes really fun— when your team starts winning.
  • Keep learning. Making yourself comfortable at one skill level is not an option. Don’t foist onto someone else the responsibility for operations you don’t understand. Constantly ask what will work better.

—Adapted from “Building Blocks of Leadership,” Ken Bradford, The Leaders Course, www.leaderscourse.com.


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