If your boss wants loyalty, he should buy a dog.

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One of the greatest lessons that I learnt about work was that you work for no one but yourself. Your boss doesn’t own you. You are not a servant nor a slave to your employer. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship which can be best described as similar to the relationship between a business and it’s clients.

The company that you work for is your client and has hired you to help them in a certain area of their business. You’re a one man business providing a service to your employer. Like the relationship between a business and it’s client, there has to be a win win situation for both parties to prosper. If only one side is winning then the relationship is parasitic rather than mutually beneficial.

It’s all about managing expectations from both sides. The key to this is defining what your expectations are and what your boss expects of you. I recommend taking a few minutes and writing down what you want to get from this relationship. We assume that more money is the answer and it will be but some of the other points might surprise you. Defining your aspirations is an important first step.

What does your boss want?

It may seem like a mystery and sometimes their demands may appear unreasonable but the answer is surprisinglysimple. All your boss wants is someone that can help him to lighten his load. Someone he can trust to get the job done.

The problem is that most people will do the bare minimum to get by at work. No one is willing to go the extra mile. Most are not passionate about their work. This inadvertently is your ticket to riches in your career. If people only want to do the bare minimum then all you need to do is just a little bit more to get ahead. And if you treat your employer as the one and only customer of your business then you’ll blow the competition out of the water. I know this to be true from experience. Applying this attitude to work has opened many doors for me. Employers are so starved of people that take the initiative that it’s like finding buried treasure and they’ll reward you for it.
You will be given the performance bonuses. They will respect you and value your input.

If your boss wants loyalty, he must buy a dog.

Let’s discuss how loyalty factors into the equation. Your loyalty is to your family, the people that love you and depend on you to feed and cloth them. Ultimately, the choices you make at work affects them and their future. If you’re single this still applies, the choices you make now will affect your future earnings which indirectly affects your future spouse and kids quality of life. If you apply the above mentioned work ethic and your employer cannot or will not reward / remunerate you appropriately then you should look for better opportunities elsewhere. You owe it to your loved ones.

Before I get lynched by other business owners for saying that staff should leave if they are not remunerated, let me explain this reasoning. A disgruntled member of staff is like slow acting poison in your business. They become unmotivated, lack interest in the well being of the business and will eventually poison others as well. The best thing for both parties is to part ways before it gets ugly. I run a business and I know that sometimes employees assume that the business is doing well because it’s busy. “Busy” doesn’t mean that the business is profitable as debt, overheads and other factors seriously mess with cash flow. The bottom line is that life is expensive and people need to earn more to support their families. We have a tendency to take it personally when people want to leave but it’s nothing personal and we would do the same if we were in their shoes. If someone wants to leave, let them go graciously.

I understand that what I’ve written can be considered a bit controversial. My suggestion is that proof of the pudding is in the eating. Try seeing your boss as your client and you as a business providing a service, you’ll be surprised by the results. I look forward to hearing all about it. Let us know if it did or didn’t work for you in the comments below.

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