It's campaign season again. That can only mean one thing...people calling each other names on television! One of my favorite criticisms is that someone flip-flopped on an issue.
Wait a second. We're now attacking people because they learned something new and changed their mind?
What? Don't we spend countless hours reading, learning, growing, and evolving as leaders? If I change my mind on an issue at work is my boss going to accuse me of flip-flopping? Am I supposed to lock in my opinions for my entire life and never expand my world view?
What if we built this philosophy into our leadership development programs? It would probably sound something like this...
"Good afternoon everyone. Today I need you to commit to all of your opinions on every issue and never change your mind again, despite what you may learn throughout your life. Here at Company XYZ we call that leadership."
There is another side of commitment, and that has to do with loyalty. I am a huge believer in being loyal to the brand you represent. Brands are a reputation, are culture, are people, brands mean so many things.
However, loyalty to a person is something very different. The cult of personality that comes with pledging loyalty to an individual feels awkward in the modern world of work.
I don't think I'm supposed to be loyal to a individual exclusively, am I?
I would certainly follow a dynamic leader to another organization; but I wouldn't follow them to a company I didn't believe in. See the difference? Respecting someone and enjoying the work you do with them is very different than pledging loyalty.
How About You
Do you consider yourself a loyal employee? Is so, are you loyal to your organization or to an individual?
This may seem like a simple issue; yet for those that focus exclusively on "the face of the franchise" the real work of leadership quickly gets lost in all the noise.
I'd love to hear from you.