Wooden Wins! - Loyalty
Our Pyramid of Success focus this month will be on Loyalty. At American Heritage Charter Schools, we celebrate the core value of “Honoring One Another”.
The Critical Nature of Building Trust and Loyalty Between a Team and Leader by Craig Impelman
A person who trusts people will make fewer mistakes than a person who distrusts.
In his book The Essential Wooden, Coach Wooden discussed the critical nature of building trust:
When spring arrived each year in Indiana, the warming weather would slowly soften the ice covering a little pond near our farm. While the ice still looked safe and solid, strong enough to walk on, it was very dangerous.
Some called it “rotten ice.” Step on it here, and you were fine; step on it there, and it would give way—you’d fall through. The ice was undependable.
A leader who finds it difficult to abide by the Golden Rule is like that Indiana ice in spring time— undependable, untrustworthy. Without trust between a team and leader, there really is no team at all—just a collection of individuals who don’t amount to much.
Do not betray your team, and the team will not betray you. It begins with my father’s teaching of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Abide by his model and you will find yourself leading a team of individuals who are loyal to you and whose bonds to the organization and its mission are sturdy.
Loyalty is a two-way street. You must give it to receive it. Be fair, be just, and be honest, and you will be a leader who inspires loyalty and who has the trust of those under your supervision.
It is not possible for an organization to operate at consistently high levels in a competitive environment without loyalty to a leader who is in turn, loyal to the team. Loyalty is not bought and sold. You earn it.
Trust is needed as well. When you give it, you get it. Like loyalty, it must be earned. It may take years to build trust but it can be lost in a minute. It is precious.
Key Idea: “Loyalty is very important when things get a little tough, as they often do when the challenge is great. Loyalty is a powerful force in producing one's individual best and more so in producing a team's best.” —John Wooden
@Home Loyalty is being committed and doing what we say we will do for the people we care about in our lives. We make promises and we keep them. We show love and respect even when we disagree. When we are loyal our friends and family know they can trust us and we won’t betray them. We will stand with them in good times and in bad. Watch this short VIDEO on loyalty. Ask your child to describe a time when someone was loyal to them. How did that make them feel? Challenge each member of your family to put loyalty into practice this month. Check in with each other and share situations where you practiced or experienced loyalty.
This video does an amazing job at highlighting all of the positive traits and actions of loyalty! After watching this short clip, take a minute to reflect on the relationships in your life. Are you a loyal person? What are some things that you do to show others that you are loyal?
In the Class
First, write your own definition of what you believe loyalty is. Then, write about a time where either you were loyal to someone or someone was loyal to you. How did you know it was loyalty? How did it make you feel? How did it make the other person feel?
On the Field
Check out these thoughts from Nike US Sports Camps on Loyalty:
WHAT IS LOYALTY?
FIDELITY, HONESTY, GOOD QUALITY, FAITHFUL, TRUE, TRUSTWORTHY
Loyalty is an important thread in the fabric of a great athlete and person. Loyalty and dedication work together to create bravery. Bravery leads to self-sacrifice and love. Love creates trust. Trust creates teamwork. Whether you are working to build a stronger team, a better family, business or friendship, loyalty is an important component. Loyalty comes from the 14th century French word which means fidelity or the duty of fulfilling one's trust. Loyalty is a mindset and trust is the outcome.
Loyalty could be misunderstood as blind servitude, yet a better view comes from Basketball Hall of Famer and Rhodes Scholar, Bill Bradley who said, "Respect your fellow human beings, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it. Trust is not created in total agreement but in the loyalty that love and respect will inform the disagreements.
There is a big difference between loyalty to our convictions and loyalty based on the benefits we receive. When we make our loyalty contingent on benefits we can be blinded by these rewards into being loyal to someone or something which does not deserve our loyalty. Furthermore, our fidelity can become shallow when the benefits stop. However, when we are loyal to our convictions to be honest, brave, disciplined, faithful, insightful, wise and humble regardless of the benefits we receive, we can discern what is best for our families, our teams and ourselves.
7 WAYS TO DEVELOP GREATER LOYALTY
1. Love and loyalty go hand in hand. Lack of loyalty means lack of love. If you don't love your sport, you won't be loyal to your workouts. If you don't love someone, you won't be loyal to your commitments to him or her. There are many reasons we fall out of love, but one of the biggest reasons is bitterness. When you get disappointed or hurt whether in sports or life and the worm of bitterness starts to eat away at your love, you are in trouble.
2. Define your purpose. What are you called to achieve and accomplish on and off the court? This is an incredibly important question to answer. What is your responsibility to your family? Being really clear with your purpose, will help you know where your loyalty lies. Love has to be the root of all purpose, because duty without love will lead to bitterness.
3. Loyalty creates bravery. Courage is connected to heart and your heart is the vessel for what you love. If you have nothing to love, you won't be able to have a sense of purpose. Without purpose, there is no need for bravery. Loyalty sees the responsibility necessary to fulfill a duty and the pledge to see that God-given purpose carried out. When you love something or someone, you will be loyal and when you are loyal, you will be brave.
4. Loyalty united with integrity. Without integrity, loyalty can become mindless obedience such as what we see in destructive dictatorships. A blind servitude for country or a leader without strong integrity is dangerous. Integrity is defined as wholeness, purity, innocence. This is an important definition. A person of integrity is not corrupted by power, blame, bitterness, prejudice, selfishness, or fear.
5. Loyalty and the tongue. How people speak is a very strong indicator of their level of loyalty. People who speak very negatively about other people often, openly, without reserve are not loyal. People who are loyal do not gossip. They do not slander others, they take no delight in speaking badly about other people.... ever.
6. Forgive. Bitterness creates lack of trust. You let go of bitterness through forgiveness. The more bitter a family, team or business, the greater the lack of loyalty. The practice of forgiveness-asking and the ability to work through painful situations indicates strong loyalty.
7. Loyalty is a lifestyle. Being loyal six days a week and not loyal one day a week doesn't work. Important relationships require a higher level of trust which is build and protected overtime. Loyalty is a decision, a pledge, a promise that requires daily commitment. Talking with Fred Crowell, founder of NBC Camps about his recent celebration of 50 years of marriage with his wife Susie, he says loyalty requires the discipline to stay true to your mission. "I pledged 50 years ago to love Susie until death do us part, that pledge requires me to work hard, to ask forgiveness, to grow and change, to remain loyal to my mission to love and respect her every day of my life."