Home > All About ME, Building PEOPLE Relationships, innovation, What's in my head now? > The Only Person to be Loyal to…is YOU

The Only Person to be Loyal to…is YOU

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’m loyal – some may say, “too a fault” and on the surface, it may appear so. I’ve turned down opportunities that would’ve helped me grow, make more money, connect me with new and different people, provide new experiences…all because “I’m a loyal employee” (or so it would seem to the outside viewer). But I’m not a loyal employee, a loyal consultant, a loyal executive, or any other role you can place me in. I’m loyal to me. Period.

But what does “being loyal” to oneself mean? Perhaps something different for all of us; for me: I am loyal to the ethics, learnings, and morals that I believe in. And the learning that has most impacted my life and aided me in being enjoying my journey; I believe in people. The right people for me. I believe that by working for or working with the people that share similar “traditional” values, morals, or ethics, or more importantly – can educate me about new / differing morals and values – that is how I remain loyal to me.

Make a list of what is most important to you; morally, ethically, professionally, and even personally and seek out people who “fit” that list. If you are loyal to yourself and to your “list”, you will find these individuals, this ‘moral code’, personal and professional relationships, even job opportunities are not easy to find, Every opportunity, every individual, every ideology that crosses your path should be weighed against that list. And when you do find that ‘match’, embrace it. Foster it. Be patient. While there may not be a tangible ‘gain’ today, there may be one tomorrow, or 10 years from now. OR, there may never be one – but I assure you, you will build relationships that make YOU a better “you”; and that intangible gain is part of the journey. And the only part of life that matters…is the journey. And remaining loyal to the belief that the journey will get you where you want to be; wherever that may be.

So enjoy your journey, remember that everything is purposeful, and if you can remain loyal to yourself, and spend your time, effort, and love on the people who you choose to be part of your journey – who knows….lightning strikes at the oddest moments. Make sure you never give up the chance for the lighting to ignite a new journey; eventually, the journey will be one you can look back on and say, “I was loyal to me and that is all that mattered”.

Lightning Strike, Koh Phangan

  1. November 17, 2010 at 7:53 am

    to a point… yes!

  2. Clay
    November 17, 2010 at 9:08 am

    It’s interesting to see where your head is these days. From your Tweets, your head is everywhere but home. How you do it … I have no idea. By the topic of this post it appears it’s taking it’s tole.

    George Benson wrote a song 30 years ago called, ‘The Greatest Love of All’ about loving ones self. I hear that in your post. Some may say it’s self-absorbed, but on the contrary, it’s just the opposite. To help others, to be the asset the world truly needs, you must be “on your game.” Being “on your game” is a constant struggle if you live in a vacuum, let alone having to deal with pull – whether external or self-imposed, of others’ demands and societal expectations. This alone can be a full time job.

    Being loyal to yourself is giving yourself a chance … a chance to develop, a chance to fall, a chance to get up and do it all again with having to be enveloped by the “wet blanket of judgment” – judgment very often conceived out of insecurity and envy.

    As long as your ethics and values are sound and well placed … you owe it to yourself and those that truly love and respect you, to be yourself. The more profound the “road to your perfect world” is … the lonelier it is. It’s easy to take that off ramp, the one with the McDonalds and Burger King. But maybe just down the road, “your road” will take you …

    • November 17, 2010 at 9:17 am

      Interesting that you’ve noticed “my head is everywhere but home”. Fortunately for me, while my head is elsewhere ( ; my heart is still at home, so while it’s been an interesting struggle in terms of balance, it’s been a great learning experience for me as well and has actually shown me how I would never be successful in ANYTHING if I did not have my amazing husband to go home to; and more importantly – to support me.

      I love everything you’ve written above – but for conversation’s sake; how do YOU know and who is to decide if one’s ethics are sound? I think mine are, but maybe others thing differently. I guess, as long as I’m happy and constantly moving forward, it doesn’t matter what others thing, right?

  3. November 17, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I hope I didn’t come off as passing judgment concerning your ethics. Considering the comment, that would be hypocritical. I just assume, based on our conversations, you would take the moral high ground. It goes to say how difficult it is not to impose ones “moral authority” on others. Maybe we all need to take the old saying “do onto others …” at heart. We can only expect from others what we are willing give.

  4. November 17, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Love the topic – but I think there is one thing missing from this post. It feels really passive to me – making a list of criteria and then waiting for people/opportunities to come to you and judging them by that criteria.

    Instead, make your list. And then find companies and people who fit that list-make an aspiration contact list (idea from Never Eat Alone) and work to make connections that fit those goals. Like any goals, you have to make active steps toward them if you want to achieve them….

    • November 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm

      You are 100% correct. I missed the boat on that one and clearly, your more pro-active approach (which is actually what I do in ‘real life’) is the right one to take. Thank you!

  5. November 17, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I’m loyal to the Red Sox…does that count?

    Kidding aside, my perception of loyalty evolved significantly from my days as a wet-behind-the-ears editorial assistant to my last throes as a publisher in the corporate world, and then again once I went out on my own. I think the problem occurs when “loyal” gets confused with “dedicated.” Surely I was the latter (most of the time) when I was working for someone else, but my track record of 2 year jobs shows the loyalty was as thin as a phone call from a better offer; and in the final stage, it was as fragile as knowing I couldn’t stand another day.

    As a self-employed person, though, I crave a blend of dedication *and* loyalty to my client relationships — those, that as you put it nicely above, are a “fit.” Is that self-interested? Sure, but not in a bad, deceitful or unethical way. To me, it’s just smart business.

    • November 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm

      And THIS is why we get along ( ; Great point about loyal vs dedicated.

  6. jared
    November 17, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I think you may have a different definition of loyalty. I know people who are loyal to their job and who would make decisions that are better for their companies than for themselves. People loyal to work teams more than themselves. A real simple example outside of consulting or executive jobs would be to consider the American soldier. I think they display a lot of differently loyalties above themself. America, the Constitution, their unit, their buddies on their right and left.

    It is smart business to always try and build loyalty within any group you are in that you deem important. It does not have to be me-first.

    • November 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm

      Starting with your first sentence; I have made and will definitely make again – decisions that are better for the company than are for me, personally. This is not because I’m “more” loyal to the company…it is because the company represents my beliefs, my mission, etc. so by making a decision that is better for the company, I am ultimating reinforcing the my loyalties to myself – or my own belief structure.

      Your example with the soldiers; they are everything you listed as well as selfless, brave, and thousands of other positive attributes. That said, “WHY” are they all of these things? They act as a soldier and a protector because one of their core values may be patriotism. One of their beliefs is in the US. Hence, while they are cretainly displaying loyalty to their country, their comrades, etc. they are still also displaying loyalty to their belief system.

  7. Ben
    November 17, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    When they say you should be “loyal,” what they mean is “strong and consistent.” Many people are not strong and consistent, so they compensate with loyalty.

    Many employers reward pure loyalty, but many don’t even do that. Many employers would prefer a truly strong and consistent employee to one who forces loyalty.

    Be loyal to yourself – “To thine own self be true” – is one of the great pieces of advice out there. If only it were easy.

    • November 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      Ben – I like how you took “loyal” and broke it down. I never thought of it like that, but it’s actually something I DO! I’m a consistent PRODUCER, but I am not 100% consistent in my actions. For example, I can be extremely impulsive…and I compensate for that with supposed loyalty…and I never realized it before – so thank you for pointing that out / opening my eyes for me.

      I think it is that easy for “thine own self be true”…if we were all a but more pro-active in the approach we take (per Melissa’s comment above) in seeking out people or companies that have the similar values. Granted, we all have monetary commitments, fiduciary responsibilities, etc. but that doesn’t mean we can’t be actively seeking while working somewhere else in the interim.

  8. November 18, 2010 at 12:37 am

    The problem is, i find when I am “loyal to myself”, people get pissed, because they don’t like what I have to do in order to do that. It doesn’t bring people into my life. If anything, it drives them out of it.

  9. November 18, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Ty – whose problem is that? Is it yours or theres? I’ve found that the older I get, the more people I cut out of my life (or vice versa). I believe this is because the older I get, the better I know myself and thus the more loyal I am to myself. When relationships are superficial and people don’t genuinely appreciate “what I have to do to be loyal to myself”, similar to you – people get driven away. I struggled with that for a couple years – but now my feeling is perhaps they shouldn’t be there in teh first place. There is certainly something ot be said about engaging with different types of people for learning purposes, but as far as allowing people “in my life” – if we don’t share a set of core values; the relationship will not likely prosper.

  10. November 18, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Great Post Jamie! Very Good insight and a reminder to “keep it real!”

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    November 2, 2011 at 8:31 am

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