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The blind side of loyalty Print E-mail

Monday, 15 October 2012 00:00

Written by Marianne Rittner-Holmes

Blindly following your employer (or anyone in your life for that matter) can be a dangerous decision for you and your company.  If your boss demands it of you, find the nearest job board and start applying elsewhere.  If you offer it up willingly, shame on you.

Anyone requiring blind loyalty is asking you to accept their direction and edicts unquestioningly.  It’s an expectation to abdicate your intelligence because some supervisor says so.  To say “Yes,” to everything your boss dictates is to quietly assent to potentially bad acts with no resistance.  By offering it up willingly, you may think you’re released from all responsibility for decisions made, but you’re simply reducing yourself to a minion who is “just doing what I was told to do.”

Neither picture is very flattering.  Ask yourself if this is who you want to be.

Ethical employers desire employees to be competent, progressive and loyal.  Loyalty means keeping information about products and services confidential, watching your boss’ and your colleagues’ backs, being responsible with company resources, supporting company decisions, and reporting information that impacts your marketplace.  It means you care enough about your business to question decisions and offer alternate solutions to maintain the reputation of the company while still achieving the goal.  

Ethical employees want to be led, not dictated to.  They want to offer loyalty to a firm that earns it, not make blind obedience a clause in their contract.  They want to contribute their talents, not be told to put them on hold. 

Blind followers are just that, people who don’t see the harm that comes from tossing aside common sense and settling for low expectations of their work.  You owe it to yourself and your company to have your eyes wide open and to not be afraid to open your mouth as well.  After all, visionaries see the obstacles and tasks at hand and lead teams to succeed in spite of them. 

Some may think being a yes-man will get them ahead, but ask yourself if you respect people who keep silent when dissent is called for.  Be true to yourself.  Be true to your company.  Show intelligent loyalty.  Participate in your work by offering what you bring:  your knowledge, your ethics, your character.  No job is worth your conscience.    

If you find yourself in a firm that is demanding more than they have a right to, try to change the culture.  If that’s unlikely, smartly move on.   In order to make such decisions, though, you must be aware of who you are.  This can only happen if you can see, and you can’t see if you turn a blind eye.


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