How Loyalty Conflicts Arose
If, for example, "from above" has ordered something that "those down there" can not support, because it obviously damages the customer relationship, then the employee is in a loyalty conflict.
What should he do? The bosses say that it is complete nonsense? Or refuse to carry out the measure? That can be professional suicide. Shut up and through? So get Company nothing but puppets, which in the end does not care.
Encourage discussion when decisions have long since fallen? Is usually futile. What remains? The customer, who always has an open ear for mended employees. And with that one is just howling.
How loyalty conflicts are expressed
"Well, that's nothing. If you only knew what else with us .... ", Says the employee, as a customer complains about bad processes. And then merrily more internals are blabbed.
"I was against it right away, but those on the top floor wanted it that way," says the department head at the team meeting, as doubts arise on the enforceability of a decision. And then he tells a few piquant details on how it goes in the leadership sessions.
Both persons were in a loyalty conflict. They took themselves out of the line of fire and pointed their fingers at others.
Loyalty conflicts move on three levels:
- Introspectively: with himself and his conscience
- Horizontal: against colleagues
- Vertical: between top and bottom
Of course, the loyalty of a leader on these three levels also takes place. For this reason, she always has to answer the question as to what her loyalty comprehension refers to: Top management? Shareholders? The enterprise? The employees? On your own conscience?
On the one hand, loyalty is a fundamental question, but on the other hand it is also very concrete. How, then, does a supervisor react when he passes unpopular management decisions to the employees? And how does he defend his employees when they get into the crossroads of criticism?
Loyalty conflicts often arise on the open stage
Just male executives expect their own people to keep closed to them. If, for example, an employee in the meeting turns up against his boss or proves that he is wrong, he feels damaged in his position and weakened in his power.
Equally problematic is when an employee turns his boss over to his boss one floor up in order to achieve his goals. It can be equally bad when people from their own ranks sympathize with "departmental enemies".
Especially women often fall into such loyalties, because they are primarily committed to the cause. Positioning and territorial behavior are usually alien to them.
Power breeds false loyalty
In addition to the performance level, there is always a level of power that demands loyalty. Disasters with millions of dollars of damage take their course: Everyone knows that the boss is on the wrong track, but nobody has the courage to tell him that.
In hospitals, thousands of people die because nobody is reading the Levites to the treating doctor. Aircraft have crashed because the copilot dared not contradict. And large building sites mutate into billions of holes. Yes, misunderstood loyalty often has the worst consequences.
The fabled Nibelungsreuue has nothing to look for in today's reality. We need a reflective loyalty. After all, only those who tell the company, if necessary, the opinion, is doing it well.
Whistleblowing: loyal or illoyal?
Unfortunately, it still happens that the "traitor" comes into the trouble, and not the real villain in the discovery of mischiefs. Especially if the "traitor" is a kid, but the "caught man" is a big one.
Today, such revelers are referred to as "whistleblowers". It has absolutely nothing to do with Petzen. Because whistleblowers reveal unacceptable misconduct, serious grievances and illegal actions. When they think about the common good, they even take personal risks.
Before such civil courage, I have the greatest respect. To curb evils and to avert damage, it is clearly the duty of a company to protect such highly loyal employees. For this, there must be internal or external trust persons, to whom one can turn.
Define how loyalty is to be lived
Discuss and define how loyalty in your company is to be seen and lived. Especially where there is a particular trust relationship, such as between the manager and the assistant, it is also important to clarify where the loyalty boundaries lie in mutual interest.
Above all, however, it should be worked out together how to develop a culture of loyalty in the company. After all, loyalty is the basis for a high-performance organization, in which every single person incorporates his entire commitment. And that's because he wants to - and not because he has to.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965960466
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