- Loyalty

Loyalty The Key Quality of Business Leaders
Submitted by Wayne Messick
Sun, 8 Feb 2009

There is no quick way to develop business leadership management skill - either among the members of your organization or for that matter, within you. It takes time to become a leader, you must learn through your life with the passing of time spent learning what real leadership is and what it means to be a leader.

To be a leader, a master of business leadership management - you must always be a student. To be always learning keeps you in the loop with your youngest employees and will help you lead your veteran employees to more effective strategies. Your people expect their leaders to be on the cutting edge.

New ideas and insights, new procedures and new methods whatever their source must always be welcomed and integrated into what you already know and what's already working for you and your people. Your employees gain confidence when they know you are on the case - learning, not taking what you've done well in the past as an excuse to stop stretching yourself.

In order to be a 21st century business leader you and all the other leaders in your organization must possess the essential qualities of leadership. And it is only through experience that these qualities will be born and nurtured until they become master skills.

Every article, every book, and every training course devoted to business leadership management and its development have lists that claim to be "the" qualities and characteristics of leaders. I will not argue with any of them - they are all important, each is more or less important depending on the specific business where the characteristics are found.

If there is one characteristic of leadership that all gurus, experts, authors, and academics will agree on - it's loyalty. Above all a leader must be loyal. Loyalty to the mission, loyalty to your bosses, loyalty to your direct reports, and loyalty to your peers.

That loyalty is a critical element is not in doubt - however being loyal does not mean we should not disagree with one another. Disagreement is not the same as disloyally. In fact the most loyal followers are those who disagree with their leaders and openly discuss their points of disagreement until a consensus is reached - one the followers and the leader can agree on and wholeheartedly endorse.

A follower who, in the best interests of the organization disagrees with the leader is someone to be listened to. That person embodies the notion that open discussion is allowed - that all relevant points of view are considered and that while a business organization might not be run like a true democracy, this one is closer to it than most.

Leaders must demonstrate loyalty by welcoming that discussion, by taking the input of their followers seriously and considering opinions other than their own. And not just the leaders in the Board room - this also applies to leaders whose business leadership management takes place on the shop floor or in the sales manager's office. They must also encourage discussions between themselves and their subordinates.

The old days of "my way or the highway" are long gone in theory. It is up to leaders at every level of the organization to make sure theory and practice are one and the same in their workplace.

On the other hand, an employee - no matter how low or high in the pecking order, who takes part in or encourages others to take actions that are not in the best interest of the organization should be fired. That person's ability to influence and as a result discourage loyal employees, managers, and executives is contagious.

It is a disease that will, left untreated cause the death of the organization. No one can serve two masters. The malcontent is more likely to be closer to the people being influenced that you are. No matter who this person is they must be removed and removed quickly.

It is essential to the health and prosperity of the business that the leaders at every level possess the skill, ability, attitude, and loyalty that will enable them to successfully carry out their responsibilities for the good of the organization as a whole.

About the Author
Business leadership management is discovering and creating opportunities and meeting challenges others have not addressed. It is motivating your people, making informed, tough decisions for your organization, and accepting responsibility for the consequences of your actions. Business leadership management is the ability to inspire people and to give them the motivation to surpass their own limits to reach a common objective.