As a leader of people, when we can garner our people’s trust we can create a team of devoted people who will give 110% more to the team. As the noted psychologist, Rensis Linkert, whose main focus of the study was management styles, said, “The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals.” What creates team loyalty?
The leader sets the atmosphere and is the glue that binds the team. If you have ever been a leader of people, you probably know creating loyalty in a team is, sometimes, easier said than done. Let’s face it. Some people, no matter what is done are not loyal people. It’s not their nature. They are easy to spot. They blame others for everything wrong in their life. They bad-mouth their spouse or friends. They don’t have close relationships with too many people. With this kind of people, I don’t know if there is anything that will inspire their loyalty.
Most people, especially the ones attracted to team activities such as sports, or who like to join groups of people, are able to become loyal members of a team. The leader, oftentimes, has to earn the loyalty of the team. Even in situations such as corporate jobs, where there is a designated hierarchy and the leader is apparent by their job title, loyalty has to be earned. Here are three tips to becoming the exceptional leader of a loyal team:
1. Reputation is everything.
The team will look at how the leader treats others. They will watch for the ethical treatment of customers, other team members, and family. When someone joins a team, they are joining the leader. A team looks up to the leader. They assume what the leader does is 100% right all the time. If they perceive anything less, the leader’s credibility is lost.
2. People are looking for a leader they can trust and believe in.
By the time we reach adulthood, we have had many opportunities to be hurt by people we can’t trust or believe in. By the time we are adults, we have been stabbed in the back a number of times. It doesn’t only make us leery, it makes us discerning. People will still look for a trustworthy leader. If a leader is worthy of trust, people will give their all for that team. On the flip side of that coin, if a leader proves themselves unworthy of their team’s trust, there isn’t any amount of money or salary that will buy back that trust. The leader will never get their best effort.
3. To become a great leader, you must first become a great person.
What do I mean by that? Our character is what we build our entire lives around. The foundation of a house is built with strong materials. A house built upon the sand will not stand. Our character is much the same. The characteristics of honesty, integrity, loyalty, and sincerity are the traits of a great person. If leaders sacrifice any one of those traits in their business dealings, they will lose the respect of their team.
People are not “born to lead”. They learn to lead, oftentimes, by following a great leader who embodies the 3 tips above. Great leaders create great teams, who create great leaders who create great teams.