The Virtue of Loyalty

2019-05-14T09:04:38-07:00 May 13th, 2016|Tags: , , |

Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

Two weeks ago, my wife and I attended a retirement party for John, a friend and longtime business acquaintance. After more than four decades, he was stepping down as one of Canada’s pre-eminent investment managers.

During the course of the evening, we heard many accolades about John, all of which rang true from our personal experience. They included comments about his integrity, investment acumen, kindness, thoughtfulness toward others and generosity.

They also included “rock star” – white hair notwithstanding! John specialized in creating and managing portfolios that generated income for people dependent on that income to pay their bills. In that arena, he was a “rock star” as he competently met investors’ objectives over several decades.

As I thought about John, the word that kept coming to mind was “loyalty.” To me, John better demonstrated loyalty than most people I have met during my business career. Consistently over the many years I have known him, he showed strong loyalty to others including, in particular, his investor clientele. For John, the interests of his clients always came first as he applied energy and expertise to meet their investment objectives. In addition, his care for his ailing (now recovering) wife over many years is, to me, a tremendous testimony to caring and dedication.

Loyalty means staying true to someone or something, even when it goes against our personal interests.

Stories of loyalty inspire. Positive feelings stir in us when we see or hear them. We associate this conduct with heroism. We somehow know that loyalty is a good thing, an admirable quality. Why is that? Why do we respond that way?

According to the Bible, God’s original design was for us humans to be like Him in terms of our moral attributes. One of His attributes is faithfulness or loyalty and He has wired into our nature the desire and ability to be loyal. However, even though we were made to be like God, we are not God. Therefore we still often put our own interests first. This self centred approach to life and business often leads to less than exemplary behaviour including disloyalty.

That is why we need someone to bridge the gap between perfect God and imperfect us and to empower us to make right decisions. These include choosing to be loyal even when doing so appears to run counter to our personal interests. According to the Bible, the name of the person who both bridges the gap and empowers us to experience a fulfilling life is Jesus.

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.