Brent Gleeson is the co-founder and CMO at Internet Marketing Inc. He is also a Navy SEAL combat veteran. Gleeson wrote in Inc about leadership lessons gleaned from his SEAL training, commenting "Loyalty is one of the core values taught in the Navy SEAL training program. Instructors teach you from the first day that your team is everything to you. You succeed with them, and you fail without them. And you never leave anyone behind."
From the article, Gleeson's four leadership values are:
- Never throw anyone under the bus. As a leader, redirect praise to your team members and protect them from criticism. If you need to talk to a team member about a misstep, do it behind closed doors.
- Never leave anyone behind. Instill in your team the belief that every person on the team is as important as the next. Include everyone in the celebration of success. And don't blame any one person for a failure. The next time you have a business success, publicly thank people in lower-level support roles for their contributions to the team.
- Try to be as candid as possible with your employees, and never lie to them. Loyalty is built on trust. If your people don't believe you're being forthcoming with them, they won't trust you to have their backs. Schedule a meeting to discuss the big picture of the business. Let any member of your team ask any question, and answer honestly.
- Give employees your unconditional support. Don't turn your back on them if they mess up. Help them figure it out, and be as loyal during the bad times as during the good. Pull aside someone who has had a bad day and give that person ten minutes of your time. Make it clear that he or she still fits into the future of your company.