On Loyalty, Being Secure, the Modern Workplace and Lightening Up

If you, as a leader, create and nurture a culture where employees must continually fall on their swords to prove their loyalty to the mission, the cause, the vision, the organization, your leadership, etc., eventually you won’t have anyone left. Your people will either burnout or simply leave. And when they fail or exit, the delusional self-fulfilling prophet in you will quietly say, “See, I told you they weren’t loyal.”

And maybe they weren’t. Or maybe all employees are not longterm relationship material. Or maybe your mission and direction sucks and they got tired of it. Or maybe they were so bloodied from all the sword hugging that they didn’t have anything left to give.

Don’t let a misplaced need for leadership affirmation confuse the loyal people with the folks just passing through. In the trenches, we all want to know our people have our back. But if the way we expect them to prove their loyalty kills them in the process, don’t blame the dead. You’re the one calling the shots.