If you want loyalty…then GIVE IT! The leader that demands it but does not offer it often leaves a wake of abused and neglected staff members. Here are a few things that I try to do…
When a person isn’t performing their job in an adequate fashion…TALK TO THEM, don’t just cut them loose! They are real people, with real lives…and sometimes they actually have REAL problems. A leader who only loves his staff when they are performing at maximum potential but will “cut them” at the first sign of struggle is pathetic.
Don’t buy into the “fire a certain percentage of your staff every year” philosophy. I have heard that line taught at leadership conferences and I just don’t buy it. Why? Because let’s say you are on staff…and you hear your leader say, “I fire BLANK percent of my staff every year.” Uh…does that motivate you to be loyal…or does it scare the heck out of you? Staff members should be motivated, not intimated by their leader. AND saying that people are going to be fired “just because” will NEVER bring about an environment of loyalty.
Hang out with your staff. It’s sad…but many leaders have bought into the “you can’t be friends with the people you lead” lie. Personally, I think you can’t be friends with the people you lead if you are an insecure leader. I love the fact that the people I lead with I also do life with. They see me in an environment outside of the church…which allows them to trust me more (and I trust them more as well.) The leader who wants to be a celebrity to his staff may be effective in getting them to kiss his butt…but they will never be truly loyal to him.
Have integrity! The people on staff (and in your church) always need to see that you are smokin’ what your sellin’! In other words…we can’t preach a value if we are not actually living it out.
I’ve alluded to this before…but believe the BEST about them. Don’t listen to every negative word and story you hear about the people you work with an immediately receive it as true…but actually sit down and have a conversation with the person that works with you. A staff member that NEVER gets the benefit of the doubt from his leader will eventually never offer them that same benefit.
Don’t think that just because someone questions a decision that you made that they are automatically against you and are in the process of leading a rebellion against your leadership. God has used some GREAT staff members who had sincere questions to direct me away from making some REALLY bad decisions…and if I had dismissed them as “disloyal” then I would have been both wrong AND stupid because I would have followed through on a wrong decision.