Loyalty: an unacknowledged skill

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We know nothing is ever straightforward and that there is always a smallprint – but we ignore it.

Like ticking the box that says we have read the terms and conditions, or taking the time to read every single ingredient in the list on our next snack – it’s time we want to waste elsewhere.

This is an “instant” world where loyalty is fleeting, where if our internet lags – we switch providers, or if our favourite brand takes too long to release the next trend – we jump ship.

But here’s the kick: Loyalty isn’t earnt over time, you either have it or you don’t.

And by “having it”, I don’t mean having loyalty pledged to you, I mean you doing the pledging. That alone is a skill.

An example:

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Just look at anyone with a mobile phone.

A lot of people rushed out and bought a Blackberry a few years ago because the advertising was snazzy and it was the “must have” thing.

This was despite the fact that Blackberries had limited internet strength, no “flash” software to access video, and were basically being sold based on their BBM service; a glorified text message.

RIM peaked for a moment, but that moment soon passed. Thereafter, they were reported to having experienced a decline in sales and were being referred to as a company that could maybe make a comeback.

In some cases, it would be stupid to be loyal. If something is bad, why should you subject yourself to it? – I love shoes, but if I try on a pair that really hurt my feet, favourite brand or not, I’m choosing a different style!

But there are cases where people have looked stupid at first, because they were loyal when most of us would have been dismissive. However they went on to prove their genius because they were able to pledge a kind of loyalty most of us can only admire.

And to think, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple and Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout with a failed first business - Yet I use an iPod, and a computer that runs on Microsoft.

And if you still think I’m referring to loyalty to a person, or to people, then I’ve lost you…


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