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ID:	87882 I read a quote recently that said, “The man who inspires loyalty will never die alone or at least his death will not go unnoticed.” I have known a slew of people in my life that have demanded loyalty from the people around them. Some of them were business owners demanding loyalty from their employees. Others were pastors expecting complete loyalty from their parishioners. I knew of one chief of police that demanded 100% loyalty from the police officers that were under him at his department. I even have known some husbands that expected undying devotion from their wife and children. I guess there is nothing wrong with any of the above scenarios, is there? The problem that I saw in many of those situations was that the loyalty was expected to flow up to the leader, but was not reciprocated back down to the followers. Loyalty in any relationship needs to be a two-way street. It needs to ebb and flow between the king of the castle and those that dwell in his domain. In each of the above relationships, I saw a police chief, a pastor, a husband and a business owner demand loyalty from those under him, but these men did not return the loyalty they so fervently demanded to those around them. How can we, as business owners, be loyal to those members of our organization? We can be patient, understanding, attentive, and forgiving to our employees. We need to see them not just as employees, but as human beings that have personal lives, struggles, and the ups and downs that life dishes out. Of course, when you are running a business, you must have expectations of your employees, right? Definitely, but your responsibility as the person running the company is to be sure that your staff receives the proper training for the job they were hired to do. You need to be sure that what you expect from them is patiently explained and taught. You need to not get angry or explosive when a mistake is made and to take the time to retrain them on what they did wrong.

I remember being in the office of a “mom and pop” repossession company a few years ago. They had a decent office, they had some nice-looking wreckers, and they even had a storage lot with a decent amount of collateral stored there. The owners greeted me with a big, friendly “hello” and invited me into their office. As soon as I walked in, I could feel that something was not right in the office. All of their staff greeted me with a smile, but, for some reason, it lacked in sincerity. As I was sitting there talking with the owners, I could hear a phone ringing and ringing in the main office, and one of the owners seemed to get stressed, all of a sudden. He quickly answered the phone and was very abrupt with whom I suspected was a client calling for an update. As soon as he hung up, he exploded into a loud tirade and chewed out the girl that did not get the call. She explained that she was on the phone with another lender and he blew up even more loudly, using some of the vilest profanity. He then came back into the office and loudly told me (so she could hear) how worthless that girl was and how he was gunning to fire her. A few weeks later, I heard that girl quit and, over the next several months, that company went through a string of office workers. This was because the explosive behavior of the one owner caused a high turnover rate in their office. That company is still running today, but, in my opinion, at only 50% of the potential it could be running. Sadly, I know of many repo companies where this scenario is played out day in and day out.

Employees treated with loyalty and respect will be loyal to you. I had one big, strong, muscle-bound guy working for me, that probably would have charged hell with a bucket of water for me. When I sold my company and retired, he cried on my last day at the office.

I sometimes joke about death and funerals, and it relates to the above quote – “The man who inspires loyalty will never die alone or at least his death will not go unnoticed.” When I am joking about the topic of funerals, I always say this: “Some people will die and will have loyal friends that will fight to be pallbearers to carry the beloved’s casket. Others had better be cremated, because they will be lucky to have one person willing to tote the urn that their ashes are kept in.” Loyalty – expect it, but also give it.

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