[November 17, 2021] Whenever strong leaders come to mind, we think of those who have courage, decisive, and bold. All good leaders have these traits. But how many good leaders are also loyal? Every great leader is. Those who are not loyal to their team illustrate poor leadership.
“My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach.” – Navy SEAL Creed
During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday (November 16), U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was taken to task for failing to defend Border Patrol agents from the debunked accusation they “whipped” Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas back in September.
At the time, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and other prominent members of the Biden administration condemned Border Agents’ actions as “inhumane” and “racists” as images went viral on social media. It was quickly learned that this was false. But, Mayorkas has yet to stand with his agents and defend them from spurious charges.
In late September, before Mayorkas had gathered all the evidence, he condemned the agents and said their actions exemplified America’s “systemic racism,” adding that it does not “reflect who we are, who we aspire to be for the integrity and values of our truly heroic personnel in the Department of Homeland Security.” 1
In the U.S. military, loyalty is one of the core values taught. Instructors teach you from the first day that your team is everything to you. You will succeed with them, and you will fail without them. And, you never leave anyone behind.2
A commitment to loyalty is the epitome of sustainable leadership. Never throw anyone under the bus. As a leader, you are responsible for what happens or what does not happen. Protect your team from criticism. Never lie to them. Be as candid as possible. They will value your honesty and respect you greatly for doing so.
Giving your team your unconditional support means they will do the same for you. Leadership is a privilege that must be learned every day. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas failed at his first big test as a leader. He, and all of us, should learn from his poor leadership.
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