Leadership, Team Spirit And Loyalty - Tai Oguntayo



By Tai Oguntayo

 We are all accustomed to what leadership is right from our infantry to adulthood. In a way, we have all been engaging in one form of leadership or the other right from the time we were born till our adulthood because we have been taking domestic responsibilities from our parents and we have been giving responsibilities to our younger ones.

This later graduate to when we start schooling; we take and give responsibilities to our junior ones. Then when we start working or apprentice, we take responsibilities just as we give responsibilities and are still giving responsibilities.  So the sum-up of all these put together makes someone a leader.  A leader is the person who shows the lead or the person who leads while others follow.

It is however germane to say that there is no way you can lead if you are difficult to be led.  So, for you to be able to lead well, you must be ready to submit yourself to the leadership of others.

It is also imperative to know what is meant by team spirit. In the military parlance, something is called espirit de corps which in a nutshell, means “oneness”. In the labour world, we have a slogan that; “an injury to one is an injury to all”.

This goes to say that whatever happens to any comrade happens to all other comrades because if you are enjoying in your company today and ignore those who face oppression in their own places of work, when your own time of hardship comes, you will face it alone. This is why team spirit can be tagged with a slogan; “Turn-by-Turn Nigeria Limited”.  You will be surprised that what does this mean ?

The fact is that what you give is what you receive; not just in the future but right away.  If you are a boss in an organization and you don’t believe in motivating your staff but only to bully them and push them around, you will get the result both immediately and in the future.  Immediately, you will find it difficult to get the desired result and when it comes they give you grudgingly whereas an assignment done grudgingly will suffer defeat the day you are unavoidably absent.

If you are a boss that does not work in team spirit, you will reap it because those subordinates of today will be there for you in the future when you need to knock that office again.  This is why it is always good to nurture and sustain the ladder with which you climb up as you are likely to need it again while descending.

Without any gainsaying, the major area where the idea of team spirit really manifests is amongst the junior workers.  Here there are different kinds of subordinates; “their thing” and “our thing”.

Their own thing in an organization where the target of workers is emolument and perquisite of office, they care less about the success of the organization because they will usually say; “it is their thing, my own is to work and collect my salary, whatever happens thereafter is none of my business”.  This kind of spirit is not team spirit but spirit of egocentricity and over-assertiveness. The point that must however be made here is that any worker doing this will always have cause to complain; “Oh, my boss is wicked”, “my boss is arrogant”, “our company is this”, “our company is that” whereas an adage says; only a bad workman fights with his tools.

Our Thing is another school of thought in team spirit where everyone works together as one and no one could really differentiate who is the boss or who is the servant because there is unity of purpose.  The subordinate does not go beyond his or her boundary while the superior does not overstretch his or her bounds. They all believe that; “we must succeed in giving our best to the people”, “this business belongs to us all”, “it is our business”. Here no one waits for any supervision before doing what is right. Under this theory, we can achieve what John C. Maxwell in his book, The 360 Leadership described as; “Ninety-nine percent of leadership” (2005:1) which he says; “occurs not from the top but from the middle of an organization”

Loyalty cannot be over emphasized because loyalty is the moving factor of the other earlier stated factors namely; leadership and team spirit.  The kind of leadership some give determines the kind of loyalty they get from their subordinates just like the kind of loyalty the subordinates give determines the kind of leadership they get. In the area of team spirit, it is loyalty amongst the staff that can make them to work in the same spirit to achieve the best.

 According to Frederick Taylor in the Scientific Managerial Theory, “human beings are naturally lazy, there is need to design a strategy to make them produce the best.”

It is in the area of designing a “strategy” in making human being produced the best that we know what makes a good leader and what makes a good follower. If you design faulty strategy, you get faulty result but if you design beautiful strategy, you get beautiful result.  For instance, for Commpart Goal to have invited a Management Consultant here today to give you motivational talk shows that it believes in enhancing staff capacity by refreshing their brains and not mere saying;  “just go out there and get me result.”

On the other hand, if a leader is autocratic, tyrannical or despotic, he will get the commensurate result. Remember the words of John Maxwell that; “people won’t go along with you if they can’t get along with you”. While giving out instruction, a good leader studies your facial expression to know if his message is well understood and taken in good faith. Few amongst those things the leaders watch out for in your facial expressions are whether you are angry, embarrassed, happy, contented, puzzled, uncertain, upset, disgusted, surprised, fearful, sly, devious, bored, disinterested, tired, relaxed or relieved.
Mainly, workers must be loyal to the management or opt out of the system rather than stay within to sabotage the objective of the organization.  There are no two ways to it; you are either loyal or disloyal.  When you are loyal, you reap the fruit in form of elevation and recognition, when you are disloyal; you reap the fruit in form of being redeployed during re-organization or outright termination of appointment.  It is when you are inside a place that you have opportunity of being loyal or disloyal.

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