You know one of the latest jargon in our political lexicon right now is the idea about rewarding loyalty to political parties. Especially with the incidence of political prostitution cum defection.
As heavyweight politicians move from one party to another to cement their chances in the 2019 polls, one of the dictums on the lips of light weight politicians left in the party is always the question, “can’t loyalty be rewarded”?
Personally as human, I first got swayed by the statement when one politician in a leading political party in a northern state lamented how the structure he labored for was taken from his hands and given to another new defector…
Citing that as the main reason for his defection to the other party, I really felt sorry for him.
But on a second thought, something happened that made me have a rethink today.
There’s this church in my neighborhood… Every time I’m around during their services, the choir leadership never fails to come up with a less than impressive performance.
It’s been on like this for a long time but today it was quite different.
A new person took up the praise and worship and the performance was lit.
From where I was listening, I got really shocked. I was like, where has this person been all this while?
As my mind was ruminating on the thought, I was like, OK now that she’s here, I hope they’ll now let her replace the other girl.
Immediately as soon as it got to this point my good old self reminded me of our latest political phrase… Loyalty has to be rewarded.
So I began to feel like OK, the other girl has been here for all these years singing through the thick and thin. Even if she’s not some nightinghale, she aught to be rewarded.
No one should be allowed to take her place no matter how good the person is. After all she has always been here.
This is what I was thinking o. I mean, I can’t fathom how this one ever got to my mind but I did ponder on this. And yes this thought is what led to this article.
You see this thinking?
I don’t know how it crept into my mind but yes, this is how most people think.
This is what most people expect. And you can see this a lot in leadership especially in Africa.
Beyond leadership too, taking a look around you will find it in relationships… People settling for people they are not really happy with just because they were loyal at some point.
Now if you’ve ever had to settle between loyalty and competence, this should raise a question within your mind!
I mean questions like, is our personal happiness subject to the loyalty or kindness or or magnanimity of some people at certain times?
Back to the leadership… Here are some deep questions we need answers.
How much more can you sacrifice the possibilities you can attend with your team, because you want to keep an incompetent but loyal person at the expense of someone who’s new but more qualified, and whose loyalty is yet to be tested?
You know, this is one of the bane of leadership in this part of the world.
I want to really have you think within you and come up with an answer for yourself
Personally, as a leader, I don’t think there’s need keeping an incompetent person just because the person is loyal. Unless the incompetent fellow is one out of 100 with an insignificant position.
You must understand what value you want to place on loyalty.
If you’re in a relationship and you’re expecting that loyalty alone will compensate for other attributes that’ll make a relationship successful, then you’ll be so surprised…
A new person with better alternatives and other combination can easily push you out. So it’s best to up your loyalty with some competence.
Same extends to leadership.
I think loyalty is something everyone can learn. It’s an attribute that can be swayed more easily compared to competence.
I mean there are certain competence and expertise you cannot easily get with money. But loyalty can be built with time.
Again most of the time, we hold unto loyalty more out of the fear of unknown more than because it is really necessary.
Trust me for most selfish leaders, loyalty pays more than competence especially when it comes to pursuing their personal interest.
And then most people are loyal because it is convenient. And bound to serve their future interests.
Sorry to burst your bubble. I love loyal folks. And I’m a completely loyal fellow myself.
But when it comes to professionalism, competence serves the interest of an entire group far more than loyalty.
I don’t advocate rewarding loyalty over competence. I believe everyone can get better even while being really loyal.
On the other hand when it comes to personal relationships, I believe it’s great to have really loyal friends and supporters.
But even better is having and surrounding yourself with a bunch of competent folks who’ll help you achieve your goals in life more than a rock star pity party band of loyal folks.
Yes it’s really sad but the reality is that most leaders (especially millennials) are choosing Loyalty over competence and accountability.
And this should be worrying for millennials and every other person who’s pursuing something big.
Some loyal folks might have your back without ever having the chance to contribute to your growth as much as you need.
So as a millennial, when choosing your Relationships, Followership And Team members, don’t just focus on loyalty try to understand your immediate and long term purpose first.
Let your decision between loyalty and competence depend on these.
As a political leader, understand you’ll need loyal folks. If you can have a balance of both loyal and competent people in your team, that’ll mark you out for excellence and survival.
(c) 2018 *Victor Winners*