Gold might be rare but can you guess what’s more rare than gold in today’s world? Loyalty. Whether we are talking about our personal or professional relationships, I’m confident most of you will agree that loyalty is often a rare find in the connections we make today. But why is this? Why is finding loyal friends, employees, spouses or just about anything else so difficult? Well the truth is, there are hundreds of reasons why but I’ve come to learn that more often than not, one particular reason is more common than all the rest…
People expect loyalty from others without first being loyal or giving people something to be loyal to.
Now, I know what most of you are thinking…
“Tim, that’s not me. I’m loyal to a fault. I give every bit of myself to everyone I meet but I still get burned”… and my response to you would be this….
Good. Me too. But you are the exception.
The reality is, most people aren’t like you and I. Most people are so afraid of being burned or taken advantage of that they build up walls around themselves and only expose their vulnerabilities and loyalty to others after they have first received loyalty from others.
So let’s focus on that majority. Let’s talk about how we’ve developed a world where loyalty is more rare than gold.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone tell me how hard it is to find a loyal spouse or significant other, loyal friends, or even loyal employees and my first thought is always the same…
What have you offered them in return for their loyalty?
Do you offer employees the median pay but expect them to be above average loyal workers? Do you show your employees that you genuinely care for them and their well-being before you expect them to bend over backwards in loyalty to you and your organization?
What about your spouse or significant other? Do you offer them half of your heart and attention but expect them to give you all of themselves in return?
Do you offer your friendship and support to your friends only when it is convenient to you but expect them to be there for you 24/7?
Most people live their lives with the mindset that “I will be loyal to others when they have first been loyal to me”…
And that is why loyalty is so rare to find.
What happens when two people are both waiting for the other person to “be loyal first”? What happens when two people are unwilling to be vulnerable to each other out of fear of getting hurt? What happens when both a leader and a follower are waiting for the other person to show loyalty first? What about two friends or two spouses?
The results will always be the same. Both parties are disappointed by their inability to find loyalty and the walls they build around themselves only grow higher and higher and loyalty continues to become a rarer commodity.
But I refuse to let those people ruin it for the rest of us.
Here’s why I will always be “loyal to a fault”…
I’ve tried being guarded but it’s only made my life harder in the long run. I myself have wondered why loyalty is so hard to find until I realized I wasn’t showing people that I was the type of person they could trust and be loyal to first.
What I’ve come to realize is that I would rather be burned for being loyal to the wrong person than mistakenly not be loyal to the right person because I was afraid of being wronged by them.
Read that again…
I take pride in my loyalty to others. I am loyal to those I lead and I am loyal to those who lead me, regardless of how loyal they are in return.
I’ll bend over backward to help everyone because that’s just who I am and I refuse to let those who take advantage of that loyalty change how I treat people.
You’re right, most people do take my loyalty for granted but that doesn’t change a thing for me because those who do appreciate the loyalty I give, return the favor tenfold. And for those who do show me loyalty in return, I will bring the world to your fingertips. I’ve turned down job offers that have doubled my currently salary out of loyalty to my current leaders who believe in me, care about me and are loyal to me in return.
No matter how good you are to others, there will always be people who wrong you and try to take advantage of you. Be good anyway. Be loyal to a fault and eventually that will be returned to you tenfold. But that takes patience. Loyalty is a two way street that starts with your willingness to be vulnerable and loyal to others first.
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