Loyalty, Its Important

By Spicer Matthews

I hear the term “It’s business” over and over again. It seems to be this universal way of saying “I know I am doing the wrong thing but I can justify it because it makes my company more profitable”. It seems to be a crappy way of saying loyalty is not relevant in the business world. In my world loyalty has a higher currency than “it’s business”. To me “it’s business” is short term and loyalty is long term.

Let’s first define loyalty. Loyalty can be found in many different forms. Personal relationships are just one example. Loyalty is much deeper. An employee can be loyal to a company or its mission. A vendor can be loyal to a customer. A company can be loyal to a supplier, and so on. It is easier to talk about loyalty in terms of people and their actions, so I will stick with these examples, but organizations as a whole can be loyal to each other.

Loyalty is about being 100% dedicated. I don’t mean by this that your entire life is consumed by the relationship. I mean that you are always going to do your best work when in a loyal relationship. You are always going to prioritize based on loyalty. You are not going to jump ship for a brighter future when you are truly loyal. You are going to continue to think about how you can make the loyal relationship stronger via continued growth.

A great example of loyalty is Sheryl Sandberg COO at Facebook. She has made her money at Facebook. She could move on to bigger and better things. It is publicly known she has been offered many CEO jobs. It appears she is loyal to Facebook. She is committed to the mission. She is not going to leave a company that has been so good to her. Loyalty is going to vend off temptation. Maybe she will jump ship someday, but it does not seem to be something she is going to do anytime soon. I am sure Mark and the Facebook board recognize this and are giving her the same level of loyalty back.

Loyalty has always been very important to me. Something I have learned over the years is you can’t force it. Everyone has their own level of loyalty. Just because you feel loyal to a person it does not mean you can expect it back. True loyalty is not something that just happens. As a manager, as a friend, as a husband, when loyally binds it is truly a magical thing and the long term dividends will be big.