18 October 2007

On loyalty

I’ve often come across managers in the corporate world who talk about loyalty. They insist on it. They expect it from their team members and their consumers unconditionally. And, what are they prepared to give in return? If anything at all, it’s bad behaviour. These managers are usually mean and oppressive – and insecure to the core of their hearts.

People in corporate organisations, like their consumers in the wider world, and the rest of us, balk at mean and oppressive behaviour. What we look for everywhere is a relationship – a connection, a kinship. A giving and accepting. An opening of hearts. An exchange of information and appreciation… empathy and even kindness. Such relationships are based on trust, not on bad behaviour.

Yet, many corporate managers fail to understand this. They demand loyalty without, first, building a relationship with their team members or their consumers. Is it any wonder that loyalty eludes them?

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