Loyal is defined as giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution. A pet dog is a great example of loyalty. Your dog always greets you when you arrive in your home. It happily displays its love and loyalty.

We can be loyal to a person, an idea, a custom, a cause, or a duty. We would like to believe that loyalty does not waver regardless of the situation. We cannot be partially loyal to something, can we?  How should we handle loyalties that are in conflict with each other? The truth is a situation can affect your loyalty.

In my experience, I find it useful to always step back and view things from the perspective of my values. Loyalties develop based on external factors and experiences. But values are more basic. they have already been internalized and built into your daily actions.

If you find yourself in a situation where your loyalty is being tested, be sure to reflect on your values before you decide your next action. Be authentic. It helps.

Being a Leader in the Workplace

As a leader, defining organizational values and culture is part of your responsibility. How do you define values to your team? Do they understand the expectations of their work?

The controversy this week between the President and the NFL has captured many headlines. Reflecting on this issue, how do you feel leadership in the NFL has responded? As a leader, would you want your employees to publicly protest in their workplace? How steps would you take to resolve the issue?

I admit, I do not know enough to help negotiate through the NFL issue. But it is a great case study.

I believe that defining the culture and the values that you expect of your organization is the first step. The more difficult step is being a living example of the culture you define every single day.  Isn’t it true that your leadership is tested the most, when you least expect it. Are you ready?

Develop a Habit of Thought

John C. Maxwell said, “An attitude is nothing more than a habit of thought.”

Implementing change starts with changing habits. If I repeatedly act according to the change I want to implement, it becomes a part of me. John’s message tells us to improve our attitude, make it a habit to improve our thoughts.

This is a great reminder for those days when we are not feeling great. If we are depressed, challenged, or emotionally defeated, our attitude can only improve through our thoughts.

We can change our thoughts by changing our environment. We can also change our thoughts by recognizing the positive things that are affecting us. We can’t just ignore the negative, but we can process it. Then move on. If we ignore it, we may miss the opportunity to learn and grow.

It is a difficult balance, but one that can be practiced. Being positive is a powerful habit.


Sacrifice Today for Tomorrow?

Being able to sacrifice short term goals for long term goals can be a tough lesson to learn. Many times a new manager will struggle implementing a change that will lead to an improvement tomorrow. If you believe the change will result in better performance in the future, are you willing to miss today’s target?

In manufacturing when a piece of equipment is not running optimally, you may need to add additional people or supplies to keep production running. This increases the cost of every piece manufactured. Making the decision to stop and fix the problem can be relatively easy.

On the other hand, if you are implementing an improvement and the future results are only theoretical, it is harder to make the decision to change. You need to have the courage to sacrifice the known for the untested. Preparation, study, experience, and research can help move you forward.

My experience has taught me that once a decision is reached, it is critical to implement as quickly as possible. If you have decided, today is the time to act. Tomorrow cannot be better without action today.