A general once summed it up very succinctly (approximate quote):
” if I set a heroic task, heroic men come forth; if I promise benefits and convenience, the street hustler types come forth”.
That’s pretty much it.
I find it fascinating to observe how this works not only as a principle of attraction but also as a principle of repulsion:
If we set circumstances for the Right thing (which transcends individual interests), the small man flees; it often triggers bodily reactions in them like nausea, sweating, stuttering, etc.
Setting the circumstance is sometimes as easy as exhibiting the appropriate style:
When interviewing people in context of building leadership teams it’s educational to see what happens when one gives them the royal treatment (treating them as royalties; btw. this should always be the case).
The royal treatment may trigger humbleness and respect or arrogance and cynicism: it polarizes. People who are aligned to principles have a sense of style that goes beyond the domain of mere practicality; those who aren’t, can’t be lifted from the practical domain and thus they constantly contradict themselves.
The point is of course that similarities attract each other. To be more accurate, we should say: a given principle triggers the emergence of a given set of characteristics, a given style, certain type of people.
Without capturing the principle (NOT values!!!) there is chaos. As step zero, all fashionable domains must be approached from this angle, including
- innovation and creativity
- leadership and management
- organization (including anything “social”)
- identity (including positioning)
I am always entertained by how egos get bruised when (expected) loyalty gets compromised.
The guy in a management role acts hurt when one of “his” top players acts against his interests, or is just not grateful for the chance of being on the team. The vendor just can’t get it when the client moves on; after all he did for her! Etc.
Individuals have absolutely no ground to expect loyalty from each other. The foundation of true loyalty is always supra-individual: principles or values; from another aspect: superiority, since the foundation of vertical differentiation may only be supra individual faculties.
When loyalty is geared towards individual or sub-individual faculties the style elements are always inferior: impulsive, uncontrolled, dishonest, opportunistic, manipulative, suspicious, fearful, etc.
Past examples of true loyalty include that towards the principles of royalty (intellectual and spiritual dominance, control over power, etc.), the principle of virility (independence, detachment, sense of purpose), the principle of wisdom (differentiation).
Current examples of false loyalty include that towards various forms of money, profit oriented institutions and positions/titles therein, character traits (be it positive or negative), or behavior that is driven by a sense of sin, self deprecation or sentimentalism.