SEAN Z | Dev

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Why Loyalty Still Matters in My Job

Many years working in construction and commissioning has helped me to observe the substantial amount of difficulties a manager has to resolve. For example, how to communicate with your guys about the expectations and watch their execution. How to take care of your guys if he screw up on a project. How to resolve conflicts between guys and most importantly how to gain their trust and inspire loyalty. I have concluded several key factors a manager might exhibit to earn their subordinates’ loyalty. I am not a manager and here are some points that I wish my boss has that will inspire my loyalty and trust. team-word

Ambitious Vision

I think it is easy to say someone is driven or ambitious but don’t put in the hard work. If you want to be a badass boss, work the extreme amount of hours and do the tough tasks. You should be able to take any of your guys’ position and do a better job than him. Not only you need work your ass off and lead by example. But you also need to be very clear what your goal is and what you believe in and what you truly hold dear. If the leader has a great vision and he is able to get people follow him, I think that is a great trait.

The only limits are, as always, those of vision. - James Broughton
If my boss show up at work 5:30AM each morning and I know when my alarm goes off in the morning, I will not hit the snooze button. It sets the tone for the day if you see the boss working diligently and tackling difficult issues! This kind of drive can only be sustainable when there is vision that makes him so enchanted.

Standing Behind

There will be a time when you screw up and make a negative impact on your team. There will be a time when your temper got hold of you and your words resulted in contentious conflicts. There will be a time when you are taken advantage by others. If your boss understands you and defend you, if your boss take on the responsibility and absorb the blame, if your boss will do whatever to protect your interest both on professional and personal level, I think he deserves your loyalty.

Hands on or hands off

Don’t micromanage me and stop intervening every details of my work. It is normal to have very different management styles where some being more micro and some being more open creative. I think either is understandable based on the industry or the nature of the task. However, there is a sense of ownership when the boss entrust you with substantial amount of resources and trust your ability to execute it well. This drives me and excites me because I no longer feel like a slave or cog in a complex machine, I feel very empowered. From manager’s view, your maturity and experiences should’ve earned his trust to even begin to start any major endeavors. So it is mutual in this aspect. I need to strive to be the best and master my trade. I need to understand the process and consequences of my decisions. Maybe only after years of training, your boss will stop micromanaging you.

Brutal Honest Feedback

It hurts when the truth of my shortcomings comes to me from someone I value highly. It encourages me when the affirmation of my hard word deliver to me from someone I respect. Some companies have setup a performance feedback system where your past performances will be reviewed hoping that it is a constructive process. It is really helpful on a superficial level but not effective on a deep personal level. The main disadvantage roots in its lack of human connection. For example, a kind word can heal the wound when speaking in love, but many kinds words filled in a form can have zero effect on me. If your boss can give you brutally honest feedbacks and guide you in the right direction, if your boss can show you how stupid and weak you are and push you to achieve something great, then he deserves your loyalty. If your boss expects very little of you and never confronts you with constructive feedbacks, if your boss like to tell other guys how stupid or incompetent you are behind your back, then please find another job.

Risk and Stress

How much can you give up to achieve a goal? How much stress can you withstand to make it through? Tenacity and endurance speaks volume during difficult times. I love spending time with my family, my wife hates it when I have to leave on Sunday and travel to job site at night. She feels I left her because I value my work above her. I love taking weekend off and hanging out at home, my wife hates it when I tell her on a Friday afternoon that I will not come home because the crazy work schedule. My wife hates it when I work long hours and sleep very little because I am not taking care of myself and sacrificing my work-life balance. Sometimes it feels like a luxury to be at home and go to work 8 hours 5 days a week in the same city. Therefore, here is the question, are you willing to sacrifice all that for someone who is taking more risk and sacrificing more to achieve a great goal? While you are grinding in the mud and working your ass off, your boss is enjoying great work-life balance, if your boss sacrifice very little personal life while you have to be away from your kids, if your boss think the project goal is trivial to his integrity, then I would like to suggest you to find a better leader!

Personal and Funny

I don’t expect my boss to be my best friend and I certainly don’t like to share all of my personal life with him. I believe work and life should be separated at a level acceptable in certain instances. However I do like to have a boss who is both personal and funny. I think this is hard to comes by because it requires high emotional intelligence and great communication skills. Not only that, being personal means being vulnerable, and most leaders do not want to look weak! Therefore, it requires certain self-assurance to be personal and funny. I have met some great people on job site that they are serious about business but yet very personal. I love to work with people like that and it gives me a purpose to go to work everyday!


  • If your boss coerce you to be loyal to him while use you like a piece of garbage, then you should realize you are valuable and quit believing the lies.
  • If your boss don’t stand behind you when tribulations arrive, then you need to re-access how much you are willing to sacrifice for him.
  • If your boss don’t work hard and don’t take ownership of the risk, then you need to work harder and so to replace him one day.

In the end, there is no perfect boss. Having a great leader described above will fuel your passion and drive to achieve something unattainable before.

Copyright © 2019 Sean Zhang

Handcrafted in Washington, DC