Monday, October 19, 2009

Leadership Principles: Reciprocal Loyalty

I am reading a book called “The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith” by author David Chadwick. I found the book buried upstairs in the guest bedroom and decided to give it a read.

The book is written by David Chadwick, a former student and player of basketball coach Dean Smith. Chadwick has distilled what he thinks are the 12 leadership principles that allowed Smith to be one of the most successful college basketball coaches of all time.

I am currently reading the first chapter on the first leadership principle, and I can say that so far I am not super impressed. It is not that the leadership principle of “reciprocal loyalty” is a bad principle, on the contrary, but I am not sure we need a full chapter on the concept.

Loyalty to your team, your management, and yourself is a core quality of a leader, or for that matter of a follower. If you are loyal to your team, it goes a long way to your team being loyal to you. The same goes for being loyal to your boss.

How do you demonstrate loyalty?

You can demonstrate loyalty by:
  • sticking up for your team and protecting them from attempts to unfairly target or smear them.
  • treating your team with respect, and go to bat for them when needed even if it means that you need to “go against the flow”
  • accepting honest criticism and own up to your mistakes, but don’t accept people pointing fingers, nor point them yourself even when it is you or your team that made a mistake.
  • not talking behind your team's back, scratch that, don't talk behind anyone's back.
All this being said however, make sure learn from the mistakes so they don’t happen again.

If you are loyal to your team, and you stick up for them and yourself, your team will reward you with loyalty in kind by sticking up for you if someone is talking behind your back, or perhaps working late to meet a tight deadline.

Be a loyal leader, and your team will be loyal.

1 comment:

Phil said...

HI Jason,
Keeping with the basketball theme - check out
Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organizaion