Does Loyalty Matter?

I am deeply grateful.

The good wishes you have sent me are truly uplifting.

We have an abundance of literature on customer loyalty, brand loyalty, and employee loyalty. I am unable to find much on organizational loyalty – the extent to which organizations need to be loyal to stakeholders – or is this a taboo?

Let me share two stories.

My only brother graduated from an engineering college in the 1960s. In those days, an undergraduate degree was enough to become a lecturer. He joined his Alma-mater as a lecturer. Under a Quality Improvement Program, he completed his Master’s and Doctoral degrees. He served the institution in various capacities. After he retired, the institute appointed him on a contractual basis. He completed 50 years of service in the institution he had graduated from before saying “enough.” He has impacted two generations of students. I feel immensely blessed to be his brother.

A friend, Nutan Kala Joshi, has completed 40 years with one university. My wish for her is that she should better my brother’s record. In the process, she would have helped two generations to become better people. I cherish my friendship with her.

In an age where people change jobs faster than they change their apparel, it is refreshing to see examples of ordinary people quietly being the harbingers of purposeful change.

In the twilight of life, I have come to this conclusion:

Like honesty or integrity, loyalty too is a binary phenomenon.

Loyalty isn’t grey. It is black and white.

You are either loyal completely, or not loyal at all.

You can’t be loyal only when it serves you.

The construct applies at all levels – from the individual to families to organizations to societies and nation-states.

And lest we forget, it is a two-way street.

What do you think?


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