Loyalty and Leadership

This article was written and submitted by retired High School Coach Dave Millhollin.

Two types of loyalty; (one genuine, one obligatory):

Freely given type (genuine loyalty):

This kind of loyalty is given to a caring authority by members of the group based on trust.  The authority figure expects results for the benefit of the institution as well as the group and all of its members. Group members are valued and recognized for exceptional performance. This creates an environment where group members want to produce expected results; they feel like they are working with their leaders.  A culture of shared accountability exists and leaders are respected.

Demanded type (obligatory loyalty):

This kind of loyalty is taken from members of the group by a demanding authority using intimidation and manipulation based on creating fear.  The authority figure expects results for institutional or selfish reasons.  The purpose of the group’s members is to serve the authority and the institution. Group members are taken for granted, they feel like they are working for their leaders and they are afraid of consequences for sub-standard performance. A culture of top down authority based accountability exists and leaders are often resented.

Which kind of loyalty do you want for your program?

What kind of leader and authority figure do you want to be?


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