Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ramsey: Loyalty, respect, and the servant leader

by BIZ Magazine

Loyalty is not gained by barking orders. The greatest generals have always known wars could not be won without the loyalty of their troops. By the same token, you cannot (and will not) win in business without the loyalty, respect and determination of your team. Respect is not the result of instilling a sense of fear in those around you. Your success depends on your team’s success. These are some of the underlying principles of servant leadership, something I teach day-in and day-out.

No one likes a hypocrite. So, if you’re going to talk the talk, you’d better make sure you walk the walk. Setting a good example as a leader is paramount to winning over your team. By putting forth your best effort every day, always telling the truth, and simply behaving as a respectful and responsible person, you will foster a sense of loyalty within your team. Remember, actions always speak louder than words. A quality culture occurs, and loyalty is born, when leaders follow through in a professional, proactive and predictable manner at every opportunity.

Part of being a servant leader is also listening to, and responding to the needs of, those around you. Spend time with the troops, and get down in the trenches with them regularly. Get to know them and their families. Ask their opinions. Just as importantly, surround yourself with other leaders who are willing to tell you the truth instead of what they might think you want to hear.

Finally, love your team well. Give them praise if you would expect to be praised. When you would expect a raise, give them raises. And always remember, nobody’s perfect. This means you, too! There are times when everyone needs a little grace. Be willing to give it, and be caring in the process. If one of your team members needs to be reprimanded, do it privately in a prompt and constructive manner. Servant leaders always think of others first.

By following these principles, you really can inspire loyalty within your team. It will help turn “employees” into loyal and valued team members—ones who stand by your side, fight for your company and help everyone become more successful than you (or they) ever dreamed possible!

Leadership and small business expert Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored several best-selling books, including EntreLeadership. The Ramsey Show is heard by 18 million listeners each week on more than 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms.

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