Loyalty should be recognized. Appreciated. Applauded. But like everything else in life, moderation should be the compass that points toward which direction to take.  

Too much can be too much.  

If one is too loyal to his employees, it can be dysfunctional. This can happen when a leader or manager is not only loyal but actually protective of the people in his department, to the point of keeping mediocre performers working. The outcome is that the company does not do as well as it could otherwise. The investors are not getting the best return on their investment that they could and should.  

The issue now is to whom should one be loyal? To the customers, the investors, or the reporting employees?  

A leader that is protective of employees who are not performing well is obviously less loyal to the company which embodies the interests of investors and customers. Both suffer.  

This question of to whom to be loyal applies not only to companies but to personal life as well. 

Have you ever served others at the cost of compromising your own needs? You are loyal to others but not to yourself. Or are you so loyal to the company you work for that you sacrifice your family?  

To whom to be loyal first? 

If we follow the principle that success is from the inside out, I would say that you should first be loyal to yourself, be true to yourself first. Sense if the conscience that rests in your brain and heart is happy with your decisions.  

You may sacrifice some of your interests for the sake of someone or something more important, but never to the point of feeling like a victim.  

The second loyalty is to the family. But to whom first, the spouse or the children? 

I would say the children. If your spouse is abusing the children, do not sacrifice them to accommodate the spouse. You can always get another spouse, but children are irreplaceable.  

Next in the hierarchy is the company you work for, then the community you live in, and then society at large, local and then global.  

Do you have your priorities in the right hierarchy?  

Many children of this new generation dedicate their lives to fighting pollution and injustice or championing global human rights, while at the same time ignoring the well-being of themselves and their families. 

Order your priorities from the inside out: start with yourself. To paraphrase Admiral William McRaven’s statement to the graduating class of UT Austin, “Your commitment to society starts with making your bed in the morning.” 

 

Just thinking, 

 

Ichak Kalderon Adizes