"Loyalty is what we call it when someone refuses a momentarily better option." Seth Godin
Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte LLP, was asked in last Sunday's NY Times if he could ask interviewees only a few questions what would they be? Barry said he would ask "what are the values that are most important to you?" and "How have you demonstrated those values in the past two years?". Both great questions I think. Reading this, I thought not only how I would hope those that I interviewed to join the Blurb team would answer but how would I answer this myself.
There are a multitude of values that are positive, but in my mind the one that encapsulates them all is loyalty. A loyal person is honest. They are compassionate to those they are loyal to. They are faithful and fair. They speak with candor and truth.
We hear a lot about loyal customers, and that is the loyalty that Seth Godin discusses in his blog post quoted above. But there is also loyalty to each other in business, with your co-workers, bosses, or vendor/partners.
Especially in a rough economy, folks will almost always take a loss to get new business away from others. They know that the hard work has already been done and the cost of goods and services likely includes some re-coup of sunk discovery and development costs. But taking those "momentarily better options" may very well be the worst thing you can do for your company.
Good business is about a mutual benefit. And unless you are a huge company with vast resources you need trusted and loyal connections throughout your supply chain to keep you successful.
Staying loyal may not always make you the most popular person with the Finance folks, but in the long run I've found it pays dividends. Make loyalty part of your personal brand and you'll be amazed with how it will continue to pay you back.