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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

11 Jun '13

Loyalty: To the leader or to the mission of the organization?

Posted by T.J. Addington in healthy teams, loyalty
Recently I led a retreat for a senior group of executives who desire to go to the next level. Each of them is fiercely loyal to their founder/leader. Yet, among themselves there is a fair amount of dissonance with sometimes poor cooperation, siloed departments and lack of cooperation. Why is that when there is such strong loyalty to the leader?

The answer is relatively simply. If my primary loyalty is to my leader I will do everything I can to please him/her but that does not mean that I need to relate well to my peers. It may even be that I jockey with my peers for the "affection" of my leader at the expense of relating and cooperating with my peers as I need to.

Now think about this: If my primary loyalty is to the mission of the organization I will have a different perspective on cooperating with others on the team. After all, for the organization to be successful it must have an integrated, results oriented, synergistic team all pulling in the same direction. Pleasing the leader is replaced by the success of the organization and the fulfillment of its mission.

It is a small difference in focus that has huge consequences for how we act and think. In this case, the leader was frustrated by the lack of commitment to a common mission. We clarified that mission and did a reset of the team's loyalty around that compelling mission which will necessitate that they think and relate differently than they have. A small shift with significant consequences.