Loyalty. The quality that a person exhibits when showing strong devotion, allegiance, or support towards another person, activity, or organization. At Cooperative, it is one of our core values. Before it can be exhibited at a company level though it needs to be exhibited in our personal lives in an honest, unassuming way, not looking to our own interest, but to the interest of others.
I think of an example of this from a Bible story out of 1st Samuel from ages ago. Super summarized: It involved king Saul (king of Israel who started out good but became self-absorbed doing not so good things), his son Jonathan, and Jonathan’s best friend David. David had just come off of killing the enemy’s main monster of a soldier Goliath with a slingshot when the king and his soldiers couldn’t/wouldn’t. So David gets famous, Saul gets jealous, and Saul wants to kill David. Jonathan at the family royal banquet finds out dad really does want to kill David, Jonathan defends David publicly, and then he has to dodge a spear thrown at him from dad (yeah, that’s some serious family dinner drama). Then Jonathan goes to warn David to flee. In this story, Jonathan risked life, stature, and possible exile to defend who was in the right. To be there for his friend regardless of the consequences.
I don’t think we’ll ever have to take a spear for a client, a coworker, or the company (what great press though, huh?). But perhaps we do need to give a client or an employee the benefit of the doubt or go the extra mile for them. A disgruntled client or employee can be looked at as an annoyance or an opportunity to build loyalty. I’m not saying that we condone bad behavior or wrong choices – there are consequences for that. But let’s try everything we can to come along-side another instead of pushing aside another.
Have a great week.