Bible Character: Ruth
Loyalty as an overall priority is somewhat on the decline in our society. People are not as faithful to one another or to organizations as they once were. Leaders have the opportunity of turning around this trend.
Ruth was a Moabite, and she showed great loyalty in her lifetime. After her husband died Ruth was encouraged by her mother-in-law, Naomi, to return home to her people. Ruth knew Naomi was a fellow widow and responded by saying, “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn my back from you, where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay (Ruth 1:16)”.
How can leaders foster loyalty?
Listening Leads to Understanding
It’s easy to act like we’re listening…but often it’s just that, an act. Sometimes we’re just not paying attention. Other times we hold predetermined conclusions, and even though we listen to what is being presented, we’re not doing it in a way that is open to insight or change. Truly listening and then understanding is a fundamental obligation of leadership.
Understanding Leads to Trust
Once a person concludes their leader really does listen and understand, they will trust in them. Ruth understood what type of person her mother-in-law was. She cared for her and did not want to leave her alone. Do the people we lead feel this way about us?
Trust Leads to Loyalty
After trust is established in a relationship, few things can break up that loyalty. Loyalty is faithfulness. Having pure devotion or faithfulness to another person has become somewhat rare in today’s world. It’s a cherished value that can be revived.
The more appealing option for Ruth was to return home to Moab, but she realized Naomi needed her and she exhibited loyalty to her mother-in-law.