[7 mins read]
Being Loyal means having the same shared consciousness, which Loyal Partners have between them. It’s not having the same skills, the same techniques, or the same personality. It’s about trust. It’s about steadfast commitment and ruthless transparency. You just don’t even need to talk. Your non-verbal communication is at a Captain Phillips rescue navy seal’s team level. Yes, it takes years of training to achieve this. That’s why most people “ring the bell” (I never heard this phrase used for quitting, only ‘wave the white flag’) they quit during the first phase of training. It’s not because they lack individual skills (the hiring process works), but because they understand the commitment needed to be a part of a Loyal Team is high, very high. Maybe too high? We aspire for greatness, and therefore have some trouble seeing things differently.
Being Loyal means earning the trust of your Partners, and of your Team. You need to earn it, it’s not given to you. You work to earn the trust of your Partners and Team every day. Today, best day. Hard? Remember you joined because this is an ultra-challenge. Yes, just some people like ultra-marathons. Today, best day. Being trusted by an elite team is a full-time job. You need to be trustworthy when delivering great results within a team’s dynamic. It’s legendary small teams we’re building, not solitary champions. You need to put the team first. That’s the behavior you mimic if you see it in your Partners, Team Members and Peers.
Being Loyal means, you are Humble. When you are part of an elite team you need to be humble. How are you going to learn otherwise? Come with a growth mindset. Be fully committed. Leave proud of your service to others. You’re humble by principle, but also to be effective. We do not anchor our methods on experience, so you need to be humble about your past. It’s only about what you’re doing now and tomorrow. It’s not what you know, it’s what you do. You may be a kickboxing champion, but today you’re learning Krav Maga, so be humble. You have a Math PhD, but today you’re learning creative problem solving, so be humble. It’s not how good you are, it’s the people around you from whom you are learning. Being Humble doesn’t mean you have low self-esteem. It means just the opposite. It means believing so much in yourself that you know you can grow in every dimension if you are humble and learn from others. Learn with others, don’t rely on google. It’s not a list of tools or knowledge. It’s a list of people. (The list of books and other knowledge sources are outputs of the people’s list – ask them what to read).
Being Loyal means you respect the Humbleness-Vulnerability Binomial. When you’re humble you’re more transparent. It’s very difficult to be humble and not show your true self. Consequently, it’s a required and desired consequence. When you’re transparent, everyone sees your strengths, but also your vulnerabilities. At Loyal, you are Humble and Transparent within the Team. The Team respects your strengths but also your weaknesses. When you earn the team’s trust, you don’t get embarrassed by your poor on-the-ground fighting skills, you ask your jiu-jitsu-master colleague to teach you. You don’t get embarrassed by not knowing how to do stakeholder mapping, you ask your stakeholder frameworks-nerd colleague to teach you. Within the Team, because everyone respects each other’s’ Strengths and Weaknesses you are Humble and Transparent. Recognizing vulnerability makes a team stronger. It changes Strategy but also Tactics. You know that your colleague won’t attack your vulnerability, he/she will position himself/herself accordingly. You have a team fighting competition. You’re left-side guard is your weakness and so your team partner with great right-side defense technique will position on your left, helping you to protect your weakness. He/she knows your weakness, and together, you become a winning team. You have a team presentation, you’re a great strategy presenter, and you can demonstrate it. Still, when it comes to explaining the investment to a client, you’re not the strongest. Still, you go for it, you do it, because at your side you have your budgeting-expert colleague, who can support you. You know you can rely on him/her.
Still, you’re Humble, Transparent and able to show you’re Vulnerable inside the Team. A Team Member Never Attacks a Vulnerability of a Team Member because that endangers the principle of protecting each other’s weaknesses. Outside of the Team you must be very careful when expressing your team’s vulnerability. Some people will use it to attack. You just need to be fully aware if you want to have that fight within that context (they know where to hit) and if you want to have a battle. If you decide yes, you know you have your left side protected. Just try to choose the battles worth fighting.