Navy Seals are the best bed makers you’ll meet. They learn how to make beds to perfection as part of their training. If it’s not perfect, then they have to do it over.
But sometimes they will have do it over again, even if it is perfect. This drove some recruits mad – to the point that they quit. While those who stayed on, did as they were told. Even though it made no sense. What better way to test true loyalty than to see if someone will follow command, even if it’s completely irrational.
And that’s the distinction.
If your people are truly loyal, they’ll do what you say, even if it doesn’t make sense. But unless you’re in the Seals, it’s likely that your people won’t do this. They have agency. They have choice of where to work. If what you’re asking them to do makes no sense, then it will frustrate them and they’ll leave.
So perhaps the best thing you can do is drop that word, loyalty. And instead go for engagement. Share the why, allow people to push back. Or go even further – have them write up their job descriptions and their progression plans.
Number 1 rule is to co-create.
If you’re alone, and stressed out, you’re doing it wrong.