How to Earn Loyalty From Your Team by Patrick Bet-David
Most leaders are afraid to talk about loyalty because of the paranoia they have of losing their best sales person. They may be afraid of introducing their team to someone who may woo them into leaving for another company. The reality is that there are a few things you need to do to earn loyalty from leaders.
1. Don’t be afraid of losing people
If you’re doing everything right as a leader and you lose someone, you never had them in the first place. Sometimes people need to leave in order for you to find the right leaders.
2. Be true to your cause
People want to follow leaders who have a larger-than-life cause they’re fighting for. If it’s just doing business to make money, it’ll usually backfire on you when bad times show up. And if you choose a cause just to get others to get excited but it has no meaning to you, they’ll be able to see that as well and will leave you for a lack of sincerity.
3. Leaders don’t like to have their a$$%# kissed
The best way to explain is this: Think about the guy who lands the hottest girl in school but doesn’t know how to keep her. We were all rookies at one point, where we went above and beyond to keep them. That’s a turnoff with leaders. They want to know that you’re confident in your skillset and if they leave you, you’ll have many options, but at the same time you’d still want to have them stay.
4. You don’t earn loyalty by doing everything for them
Some leaders want to earn loyalty of their lower-level people instead of their leaders, which eventually ends up backfiring on them. They eventually lose the leaders and keep the bench. You as the leader need to learn that the Jordans and Kobes of your world don’t want you to do everything for them. They just want direction and coaching, and if they’re really leaders, they’ll show you with their performance.
5. They need to see you in the game
Nothing is more annoying than having someone trying to earn the loyalty of their leaders without actually earning it. This is the fastest way to…
6. Loyalty gets stronger in times of friction
So many times leaders see friction or arguments with one of their teammates as a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong, name-calling isn’t something that leads to good things, but having locker-room talks are a must. But remember, a little bit of fire keeps the house warm and too much of it burns it down.
7. Talk behind your leaders’ back
So often we’re told to not talk behind each other’s back. I’m here to tell you to talk behind your team’s back. However, instead of saying negative things about them, say great things about them behind their back to others. The more people you say it to, the more chances of it eventually getting back to them.
8. Create an environment where everyone calls each other out
I’ve been to sales environments where everyone is hugging each other all the time and is afraid to call each other out. The leaders are usually wondering why they don’t have a high-performance team. Well, because the leader at the top has created an environment of everyone being too politically correct to each other and not hurting each other’s feelings. This may work in a perfect world, but not in the world we live in. A great environment is one where everyone has permission to call out another person who’s not performing.
9. Treat everyone fairly but not equally
There’s nothing more annoying to me than going to a restaurant where they pool tips together at the end of the night. I can’t stand that. I make sure to let the management team know that every time I stop by the restaurant. Why would anyone in the right mind create an environment like this? What would be my motivation to give the best service and get a 40 percent tip if I know it’s going to be shared? Communism has failed over and over again and yet so many leaders create a working environment based on principles of communism without even knowing it. You may gain loyalty from your low performing employees but you’ll lose the high performers who are giving more effort than the rest.
10. Don’t challenge everyone the same way
Just like in parenting, your leaders have their own identity. It’s your job to learn what they respond to well and what they don’t. You’ll have to learn through trial and error until you finally learn what works with them. They’ll appreciate it when you learn how to challenge them, and once you do, the performance of your team will also reach new heights.
11. Protect their egos
I see so many times where a spouse publically says things such as, “My husband is just so lazy,” or, “I wish he was hard working like____.” Nothing breaks a human being more than having their ego constantly broken over and over again. So stop looking at your leaders’ ego as a bad thing, and learn how to push them individually and protect their identities at the same time. Don’t confuse the ego of a performer versus an ego of someone who wants to get credit without working. No one on the team is more annoying than those who think they know it all and are not open to feedback. These are not the kind of leaders to build your team around. They’ll come and go and they’ll usually take other people like them away as well. Don’t lose sleep over them.
12. Ask for their opinion regularly
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you know it all. The higher you move up, the more help you need. Loyalty is created from hearing them out at times. This doesn’t mean you actually have to do what they tell you to do, but you’ll be surprised how much value they’ll be able to bring to you and how much you earn their loyalty when you do that.
13. Persuade instead of manipulate
Your leaders know when you speak to them and are being calculating about something you’re doing. But if over and over again, it only benefits you and not the team, they’ll eventually know that you’re simply manipulating them. Strong leaders want to follow other leaders who are very persuasive and calculating, because what are they going to do if there’s a pressure situation where the leader needs to make the right decision but lacks in his calculating decisions? The company fails. The next time someone tells you you’re too calculating, explain to them what the consequences of the opposite would be.
14. Don’t take credit for ideas
Many years ago I worked with this manager who was famous for asking you for ideas, and going to the executive team and saying she came up with all the ideas. I can see how that can benefit someone short term, but unless if you want to lead a team of one, I suggest not subscribing to that philosophy.
15. Give them the opportunity to own a piece of the company
Many people signed up for the pension plan where they exchanged 30 years of service for a pension. I prefer giving leaders the opportunity to earn equity instead of a pension, and here’s why. A pension creates a comfortable environment to wait for retirement and it only makes the leaders think about themselves. Giving them the opportunity to own a piece of the company creates loyal followers who are always protective of the company and you. They find ways to grow the company instead of just maintaining it.
16. Have examples of successful leaders you’ve developed
a. John Wooden once said that he had the hardest time earning his freshmen’s coachability because they didn’t yet see him as a winning coach. They asked him if he earned it after winning his first and his answer was NO. He said anyone can get lucky and win once, but if you win twice, you know what you’re doing. Go out there and develop two successful leaders and see the kind of loyalty you’ll earn.
17. Don’t act perfect
No one likes perfect people. I have a harder time trusting someone who paints themselves to be perfect than someone who doesn’t. You acting perfect constantly reminds your leaders of their imperfections and they feel they don’t belong around you. People prefer following imperfect leaders who are comfortable talking about their flaws than perfect people.