Continuing from Part 2:
Leadership Principle #10: A Leader Cultivates Loyalty
Loyalty is a great virtue. Scripture exalts loyalty. Loyalty is owed, first of all, to the Lord and to His truth, but also to those who stand for the truth. Second Chronicles 16:9 says, “The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” Disloyalty is among the most repugnant of all evils. Judas sinned because he was a traitor. He had no loyalty to Christ, although he had been a privileged friend and close companion for years. No sin in all of Scripture is more despicable than Judas’s traitorous act of treachery. Jesus Himself classed Judas’s wickedness as more wretched than that of Pilate (John 19:11).
What do we mean by loyalty? Authentic loyalty is not blind devotion to a mere man. It is, first of all, an allegiance to truth and duty. But it involves devotion to the obligations of love and friendship as well. It is among the most godly and godlike virtues, because God Himself is eternally faithful.
Loyalty is essential to leadership. The wise leader cultivates loyalty by being loyal – loyal to the Lord, loyal to the truth, and loyal to the people he leads. Nothing is more destructive of leadership than the leader who compromises his own loyalty.
I have a very hard time hearing criticism of people who are under my leadership, because I am committed in my heart to being loyal to them. My instinct is to defend them. I always seek to give them the benefit of the doubt. My love for them includes an earnest desire to assume the best of them. After all, that is how love is expressed: “Love suffers long and is kind…is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
I tell graduates of The Master’s College that they can be successful in any profession they choose if they do a few things consistently: Be on time, keep quiet and work hard, do what the boss tells you, have a positive attitude, and most important, be fiercely loyal to the people you work for and with. Leadership hinges on trust, and trust is cultivated by loyalty. Where trust is born and respect is maintained, sacrificial, devoted service is rendered. Another way to say this is that our hearts have to be in our people, and our people have to be in our hearts (pp. 69-71).
Stay tune for Part 4.