The greatest generals in history knew that wars could not be won without the loyalty of their troops. Likewise, you cannot and will not win in business without the loyalty, respect and determination of your team.
Loyalty is not gained by simply barking orders. Respect is not the result of instilling a sense of fear in those around you. Your success depends on their success, and this is one of the underlying principles of servant leadership. I’ve worked hard to build my company on this concept, and now it’s one of the guiding principles I teach in my EntreLeadership Master Series class.
Setting a good example as a leader is paramount to winning over your team. No one likes a hypocrite, so if you’re going to talk the talk you had better make sure you walk the walk.
Actions always speak louder than words. By putting forth your best effort every day, always telling the truth, and simply behaving as a respectful and responsible person, you will foster a sense of loyalty within your team.
Loyalty is born, and a quality culture occurs, when leaders follow through in a professional, predictable and proactive manner on every single issue and opportunity.
Interact and listen
Part of being a servant leader is listening to, and interacting with, those around you. Locking yourself away in your office is one of the worst things any leader can do.
Spend time with the troops, and get down in the trenches with them regularly. Get to know them and their families, and ask their opinions. Just as importantly, surround yourself with other leaders who are willing to tell you the truth instead of what they might think you want to hear.
Think of others
Love your team well. When you would expect to be praised, give them praise. When you would expect a raise, give them raises. And remember, nobody’s perfect — especially you! There are times in everyone’s life when they need a little grace, so be caring and willing to give it. And if one of your team members needs to be reprimanded, do it privately in a prompt and constructive manner. That’s what you would want if you messed up, right?
As a servant leader, you must always strive to think of others. It’s really as simple as following the Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31 NIV).
By following these principles, you can inspire loyalty within your team. This will help turn “employees” intoteam members, who will stand by your side and help you become more successful than you ever dreamed possible!