Posted by John Reed on Nov 28, 2015
For example, if you rank loyalty above integrity it means that when the two conflict, you will resolve the conflict in favor of loyalty. In other words, you will lie to protect your boss. Or if you are the boss and you are directing your loyalty speech to your subordinates, it means that you expect them to lie to save your ass if and when that becomes necessary. Doesn’t sound like so much of a virtue when you put it like that, does it?
There is another hierarchy that must be discussed with regard to the virtue of loyalty. Loyalty to whom? A head football coach relates to the following people:
• athletic director (at amateur levels)• owner (at professional levels)• school president, superintendent, or principal • players • parents of players (at amateur levels) • fans • alumni • media • student body (in schools)
Once again, you cannot just proclaim your allegiance to loyalty and get a gold star for virtue. You must rank the various persons and groups to whom you owe loyalty. Only then can you resolve conflicts between loyalties to those various constituencies. Every act of loyalty to one person or organization is an act of disloyalty to everyone else related to the activity in question. So loyal is not really the right word. The question is not which one person are you going to be loyal to. It is which much larger number of persons are you going to be disloyal to. In any loyalty decision, you are implicitly saying, “I have decided to be loyal to this person and disloyal to all these other people.”
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