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The Power, Benefits & Dangers of Loyalty

The Power, Benefits & Dangers of Loyalty
The Power, Benefits & Dangers of Loyalty

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like reveal the link between loyalty, health, happiness and success, and warn about blind loyalty.

First a quick update:

“List of 48 Critical Character Traits
What are the character traits that you would expect in a partner or even a business colleague? Which traits would you list as being critical to success, happiness and strong relationships?

“How To Handle Someone With Emotional Baggage”
When you have emotional baggage, you can’t express love or receive love freely. Most times, if you don’t destroy the relationship by infecting it with the past, you will definitely sabotage it! Watch the video for solutions!

Now, let’s talk about the link between loyalty, health, happiness and success, and warn about blind loyalty.

In my article, “Snake Oil Salesman – Personality VS Character” I explained that personality is our external appearance – the mask we often put on for the world, while character is our inner values.

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”—Malcolm S. Forbes, 1972

I also published a “List of 48 Critical Character Traits” and one of those 48 critical traits is “Loyalty – Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve.”

The dictionary defines the word loyal as “giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.”

The greatest test of loyalty is when the going gets tough – when you face difficult or challenging times: what action will you take – self-serving or allegiance-based action?

“A woman’s loyalty is tested when her man has nothing. A man’s loyalty is tested when he has everything.” – Author unknown

Today, we see less and less examples of loyalty – the athlete who has become a mercenary selling himself to the team with the highest bid or offer; the corporation that constantly seeks ways to avoid paying benefits or delivering promises for work performance; the man or woman who seeks instant gratification and thus failing to control his/her impulses destroys a relationship with infidelity and betrayal.

“The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.” – Zig Ziglar

Few of us truly appreciate and fully understand the value of loyalty until that moment that we experience disloyalty – betrayal, selfishness, lies, cheating, cowardice, and so forth.

Only with personal experience is one able to understand that relationship satisfaction is tied much more to intrinsic values such as loyalty and warmth than it is to extrinsic values such as vitality/status/passion.

When our intrinsic values are not met in a relationship, we might try to fool ourselves into thinking we can be happy by focusing on the extrinsic values of passion and status and wealth only to awaken that we are miserable because the intrinsic values of loyalty, warmth and understanding give us inner satisfaction and help us to achieve more of our potential and become stronger and more independent.

Loyalty also results in financial rewards: in a 2006 study for the National Bureau of Economic Research, it was revealed that high and low skilled workers who had a minimum of experience of five years with a single employer got 8% increases in compensation a year compared with about 5% for people with a history of job-hopping.

“Employee loyalty begins with employer loyalty. Your employees should know that if they do the job they were hired to do with a reasonable amount of competence and efficiency, you will support them.” – Harvey Mackay

A 2007 study by the Rand Center for the Study of Aging tracked more than 4,000 men over 22 years, analyzing changes in the their health status alongside their major marital transitions (marriage, divorce, death of a spouse and remarriage.)

The study found that “married men in their 50s, 60s, and 70s have lower mortality rates than those who are unmarried (never married, divorced, or widowed.)”

To fully understand the meaning and application of loyalty, we must also consider “blind loyalty” and “whistleblowing.”

Blind loyalty refers to the action of being loyal to a person or cause despite the damage or harm the person or cause does to oneself or to others including you. Thus, blind loyalty is motivated purely by obligation without consideration of the consequences of that loyalty.

A whistleblower is someone who does the opposite by exposing any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organization that is either private or public.

“I take things like honor and loyalty seriously. It’s more important to me than any materialistic thing or any fame I could have.” – Lloyd Banks – hip hop recording artist

This week, 2 million dollars was awarded to two whistleblower cops who said they were blackballed in the Chicago Police Department for helping to investigate corrupt officers. Daniel Echeverria and Shannon Spalding blew the whistle on a corrupt sergeant, Ronald Watts and his crew who shook down drug dealers for protection money and pinned false cases on those who wouldn’t pay.

These 2 police officers had to choose between being blindly loyal to their fellow officers by ignoring the corruption or be loyal to their own values.

And therein lies the key to fully understanding loyalty – loyalty is directly connected to your values.

Loyalty begins by being loyal to your values & principles.

The above mentioned police officers chose to be loyal to their values of honesty, truth and justice.

Recall, I mentioned at the beginning of this article, “Loyalty – Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve.”

We can argue that the officers were being loyal to their values of serving others – namely the innocent people versus serving their fellow corrupt officers. Accordingly, group loyalty can foster ethical behavior or it can foster corruption.

Blind loyalty in a relationship is also detrimental. If your partner cheats or betrays you and you immediately forgive without him/her making proper amends, you will erode your own self-esteem.

“Unless you and your mate are united in purpose, dedication, and loyalty, you will not succeed to the extent you otherwise could.” – Ezra Taft Benson

In conclusion, loyalty is not an isolated character trait: loyalty involves allegiance to your value system. When you chose loyalty over selfishness or instant gratification and for the right reasons of your own persuasion and conscience, you will strengthen your relationships, experience integrity, and reap the rewards of a clean soul and clean conscience!

“Many of the qualities that come so effortlessly to dogs – loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, unqualified love – can be elusive to humans.”  – John Grogan, author of “Marley and me”

If you need assistance to make better choices and be free from the past, book a one-on-one session with me. 

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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