Love, Loyalty & Courage
Recently I was having a conversation about some business issues with my friend and associate, and we got on the subject of Loyalty – which my associate pointed out to me was a core value for both of us and that was why we were in agreement on the issue we were discussing.
Then, he looked at me and said, “Love, Loyalty and Courage – those are my core values and the principles I try to live my life by.” We finished our conversation and both of us went about our business.
There was something about those words – Love, Loyalty & Courage – that I couldn’t get out of my head. I wrote them in my business journal to come back to. I discussed them with Gail that afternoon. I thought about them as I fell asleep that night. And, I looked at them again on the flight home. Michael was on to something and it had certainly hit home with me.
Let’s start with Loyalty because that’s an easy one. The dictionary defines Loyalty as “faithfulness to commitments or obligations.” It seems that Loyalty goes deeper than that – much, much deeper than that.
Loyalty is also about people and having allegiances, being dedicated to them, and about commitment. It’s about defending and sticking up for those who have helped you or who you care about.
Loyalty is important in business as well as in our personal lives. We all want our clients to be loyal to us, to stay with us and to continue to do business with us.
Over time, most of us find that others will stay loyal to us as long as we stay loyal to them. For example, if we go against the things we teach, or suddenly stop providing good products and service to out clients, they will go elsewhere for their needs – as they should. As long as we continue to provide people with tools and training they need and want, and do in a way that is ethical and consistent, they will more than likely stay with us. There are always exceptions, but in most cases, we breed loyalty by being loyal and doing the right things by our friends, clients and families.
Courage speaks for itself in many ways. Courage comes in many forms.
Courage really refers to qualities of your spirit as well as your actions.
Courage might be seen in the form of bravery, in situations where a person faces difficulty, danger or pain without fear.
Courage might also take the form of sticking to your convictions by acting in accordance with your beliefs – in spite criticism by others.
Many entrepreneurs and small business owners have had to have courage in the face of great adversity in order to succeed in life and in their businesses.
Many have been questioned, ridiculed and laughed at by friends and families from the first time they picked up a book, attended a seminar, or even shared the thought of going into business for themselves.
Going against the grain, being an independent thinker and being a huge success all takes courage.
The world sure needs love – and more of it would be nice.
But, how in the world does love fit into your business. Isn’t that thought a little fluffy for a business article talking about the core values of your life?
Not so fast! We had all better be passionate about our businesses and the people we serve in them. As business owners we all feel an attachment to and affection for what we do, or we should if we’re going to stay around and be successful in it.
I once read a quote from Joan Rivers when she was asked how she got so rich and she said all wealthy and successful people have 2 things in common – they work very hard and they love what they do (which makes work not so much like work).
Our enthusiasm for our businesses is really a form of love – not the kind we think about when we think about loving people, for sure, but it is love all the same.
Love – Loyalty – Courage! They all fit – in business and in life. If they don’t fit for you, that’s ok, just find the ones that do.
Make sure whatever the core values are, that you decide on, are ones you really believe in, that you can live your life and run your business by because if you start to teach from a place of those values and them you change that stance at some point, you will lose all credibility with your clients, your family and your friends. And, that can cost you everything!
Love, Loyalty, and Courage – can’t go wrong with these!
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I went to a memorial service this Tuesday morning for my friend. He was a man who helped take care of my mother in the final, difficult stages of her life. He was a quite serving leader and he reminded me there are many people around us who step in we least expect and when we most need it, to help someone just because it’s the right thing to do. They serve others without notice or fanfare. They serve others out of respect for the needs of others and for no other reason.
After paying my respects to the family, I picked up the prayer card for my friend. It had a simple message that I’d like to share with you, the serving leader.
Do Not Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
- Mary Elizabeth Frye
I am the victor over death, I’m the spark of My Creator’s light.
Real strength comes from helping others and serving causes that make a difference to others and not always yourself. It not easy, but when you’re done, you leave an indelible mark on all around you. You are a Victor.