March 5, 2013 dovbaron

Are There Any REAL LEADERS left?

Are There Any “REAL” Leaders Left?

Look, I know you’re obviously smart enough to question what you have been fed by the media and social propaganda because you are reading this…

So let me repeat my question:  Are there any REAL Leaders left?

You Are Now Entering The No B.S. Zone!


Before I answer, I have to ask another question: Do you want to hear the absolute truth?  

I’m talking about the raw truth and definitely Not some buttered up, make it sound better than it is bunch of B.S.  What I’m talking about  is just you and me, sitting across the table from each other speaking our truth.

(A word of caution…. What you are about to read will likely piss some people off. Maybe even you!)

If you are ready to hear the absolute truth then I’m here to tell you that…

There are no REAL Leaders anymore.

Don’t believe me? Take a look around.

You and I both know that leadership in its present form is a about as effective as a Jell-O© bullet.

The problem is, we’ve been trained to believe someone is a leader because of position, title or accumulation of goodies, and it’s about time we realized; that’s not “real” leadership.

So let’s boil leadership down to its core…  

 You are a leader if you have people who have consciously decided to follow you.

Note that I said consciously. That means they aren’t following you because they have to, they’re supposed to, or for any other reason than you, their leader, are the example of the way they want to be!

So let’s take a look at some so-called leaders we have today.

Profit without ethics

Many “leaders” in the business world have ripped off their employees, their investors and just about anyone who they could talk into parting with their money.

Now of course that’s not true of all business leaders, but those who aren’t rip-off artists are struggling to do anything that even resembles real leadership. They struggle to hold a vision, a mission, and a healthy corporate culture together, let alone a profit. So many tug their forelock with a “Yes sir, profit at any cost” mentality.

You, me, our kids, and our environment keep paying the price of companies who don’t give a rats “you know what” about anything other than profit, because profit seems to have a much higher priority over ethics. And for so many of these clowns social responsibility has become little more than another marketing ploy.

Then there are the so-called leaders in religion who are for the most part no better. Many of them are busy telling everyone who will listen that their followers are better than everyone else. The religious leaders insist that their God and their rules are better, and more civilized than the God and rules of other religions. Therefore, anyone of another faith is just not as good.

We’re good you’re bad

They tell us that anyone who doesn’t follow their rules is going to hell in a hand basket for not having accepted “the right” way.

Come on people, is that how the person who started your faith would have behaved? I think not! Actually, I think that if the originator of your faith returned, s/he might be quite pissed off at all the blame and judgment done in his or her name.

Is it just me or, haven’t we done this before? You know the saying: Those who refuse to examine history are destined to repeat it!

 And while we’re at it, let’s not ignore the half-assed version of political leadership we are supposed to choose from. These folks are so busy telling us their opposition is wrong that they would rather watch the countries economy get flushed down the crapper than actually act like leaders and find a way to come together for the common good.

You and I both know that for the most part, politicians are nothing more than a bunch of ego-driven, overly ambitious, lying monkeys wearing patriotic colors.

They are willing to put our country at war with other countries, but they will not put on the uniform and stand on the front line.

Money and politics a bad marriage

Plus, these guys and gals change their minds and policies more often than their underwear (depending on what wealthy individual or corporation has bought their latest opinion).

While we are at it I’m deeply saddened to say; even the so-called leaders in my own industry of personal and professional development are sadly lacking.

Hello…we are supposed to be the example! We are supposed to be leading the way in shaping people’s minds! Instead what the personal development industry offers is so often little more than snake oil salesmen and women.  (Okay, so my secret is out. This is one of the reasons I am leaving the public seminar business. I do not want my reputation in discussed in the same breath as some of these douchey individuals)

So what it all comes down to is this…

You and I both know there are NO REAL Leaders left!

I have to admit, until recently I was quite puzzled as to why this should be, when suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks.

In a time where “reality TV” isn’t actually “real” but scripted down to the last sneeze, it becomes obvious that for so many of the leaders today in all of those areas I’ve talked about  and many more Not mentioned here, being Real and Authentic and being a leader are NOT part of the same sentence.

It’s the reason I completely shifted gears, There are no “real” leaders left, so I am creating them!

This is of course where I have got to put my money where my mouth is…

This means I have got to be willing to totally show up, be real and become nakedly authentically and share whatever is in front of me.

Is this difficult? You bet it is.
Full Monty, Authentic Leadership is NOT easy! But you know what? Gandhi (now that was a real leader) was absolutely right: We must be the change we want to see.

I’ll admit that I’m not there yet. Maybe I’ll never get there, but I will never stop striving towards greater transparency as a leader and greater authenticity in all that I do.

My question to you is:

Do you have the “balls/ovaries” to be a real leader,
a Full Monty Leader ?

If you would like to hear me outline more of what it takes to be an Authentic Leader go over to this episode of Dov Baron’s Full Monty Leadership Show

I trust that you found this article valuable, if so feel free to send this to your friends. I eagerly anticipate your feedback and comments. Please “like,” “share”, and comment below!

With gratitude,

Dõv Baron Speaks internationally on leadership in the new economy. He is the Leading expert on Authentic Leadership and is the world’s Only Corporate Cultural Strategist.

He is also a bestselling author, and Executive producer and host of The wildly popular internationally broadcast Full Monty Leadership Show featuring those at the cutting edge of leadership.

As an Elite Mind Strategist he specializes in the Psychology of High Performance Leadership and can move you and your organization from where you are to where you want to be at hyper speed.

To bring Dov in to speak to your group or organization please contact Baron Mastery at +1 778 397 7717

P.S. Have you heard The Full Monty Leadership Show yet? The Very Best in Personal and Professional Leadership. Dov is the Host and Executive producer every Thursday Morning from 10:00 AM (PST) 1:00PM (EST) Details are at: http://FullMontyRadio.com

All contents of this blog and articles herein fall under full copyright law and are the soul intellectual property of Dov Baron and Authentic Paragon Alliance INC

Hyper Smash

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Comments (3)

  1. Hi Dov,
    Another poignant observation. Though I do know a lot of leaders, with character, integrity, passion, drive and commitment. Here is what I observe… they are LIVING IT because it is who they are. They are not “in it for the money” or for the fame and glory. It is just who they are – so they are unseen except by their followers.  Smaller groups perhaps, but groups who follow because they share the same dream or vision. Because they have similar beliefs and values. See, the way I see it is that a whole lot of people are putting great concentration into “value” believing that equals monetary value and nothing is further from the truth. Throughout history the most “valuable” things end up being free (love, acceptance, joy) and these things come usually after hardship… they cannot be bought, they have to be earned and life’s lessons are the pass to getting there. I think we live in a very instant gratification society and everything is on super fast speed, people make judgments without long observation or thought, and they get impatient if they don;t get instant results. Like nurturing the relationships we have with partners or our children, these things take time – there is no quick fix. Leaders are those who are there for the long haul, for the big picture, for the value of what is behind the acts… they have longevity and commitment and perseverance. And often times, they are hidden heroes of day to day life, ordinary people who do extraordinary things; consistently and with grace. In the end you mention Gandhi and I have a visual image of him living out his simple life in his little loin cloth and simple bowl of rice – yet within was a determination that would change the world. Was he authentic? Yes… was he a leader? Yes. Can someone teach, drill or train those kinds of qualities? It is a difficult task, but with your history and passion, I am sure it is possible. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thomas Wenzl

    Are there any real leaders left? Yes, there are. Tons of. Just go to Ted.com and you will find many inspiring leaders that are authentic, putting themselves out there, live what they talk and are an inspiration for many people. Are those people perfect? No, they aren’t. Am I perfect? No, I’m not. But there are many _real_ leaders in this world. Many are leaders in a very small group, but they are still leaders. Even if we don’t know them. I agree, that many people of what we as a culture know as leaders are no real leaders – yet. But they have influence and they could be real leaders. Same applies for your industry of personal and corporate development – there are many inspiring people how are really making a difference. Sometimes we need a provocative statement to get the message…so you really got our attention.

    What also grabbed my attention at the end of your article is your personal bio – Leading expert on authentic leadership? World’s only corporate cultural strategist? Really? There are many people in this world who are working on coroporate cultural strategies, there are many books on authentic leadership, etc. Some may even be very successful and don’t even speak your language. Does a real leader really need marketing claims like that or would he just BE that real leader? Just a piece of thought.

    Thanks for sharing your message and your insights. I recently was able to see the progress and happy comments of some of your seminar attendees on YouTube and Facebook. It was great to see what your seminar triggered in them and how it moved them in a different direction.

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Video Introduction

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The Top 3 Reasons “Leaders” are losing their Star Players!

The Top 3 Reasons
“Leaders” are losing their Star Players!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that the recession has aggravated what already was a deteriorating relationship between employers and their employees. While things weren’t rosy before, now everyone knows someone (or has experienced it themselves!) who has been caught in layoffs, buyouts, downsizing, capsizing, and reductions in benefits, not to mention freezes on new hires, pay raises, and promotions.

And you also know the result: People are willing to abandon companies like the proverbial rats on a sinking ship because no one feels safe!

The reason isn’t rocket science. If you even suspect that the ship you are on could go down and something else comes along, there’s a good chance you’d jump ship too. Think about it.  The fear doesn’t have to be based on facts; a nasty corrosive rumour can have people racing toward the exits just as easily.

A Wharton School of Business article says that most companies can expect to lose anywhere between 20 and 50 percent of their employees in any given year. Few things are more disruptive and costly to your business than an unexpected exodus from your talent pool.

If you want loyalty, you must focus on culture over rhetoric!  Regardless of position, title, or even office size, employees who volitional walk away, generally do so because they perceive some type of disconnect with leadership and/or the values of the company. (This is best reflected in the corporate culture)

It’s no surprise to any of us, but employee loyalty is not what it used to be. In a recent survey of employee benefits, trends, and attitudes, MetLife found that employee loyalty is at a seven-year low.

So what are the Top 3 Reasons “Leaders” lose their Star Players?

Leaders must learn how to deal with conflict.

Be honest, I mean really honest. Are you comfortable with conflict?  By that I don’t mean that you are aggressively looking for some form of fight, but when conflict comes up, can you confront it with compassion and empathy? Do have the skills to resolve the issues?

If not, you can be certain that your team’s morale is going to tank faster than a preschooler who needs a nap because conflict is the nature of relationship.

You’ve got to understand that crappy moral is contagious!  Problems that don’t get addressed, be they feuds between departments (silos), interpersonal quarrels, or performance issues all negatively impact employee enthusiasm, motivation, and ultimately loyalty.

Before we go any further, I want to set something straight…small problems do not go away. Small problems that are ignored develop into resentment, and will develop into bigger problems. (Don’t believe me? Ask the person you live with…Go on, I dare you.)

A leader who does not–or cannot–deal with conflict will immediately start to lose the trust and respect of her/his employees. And you and I both know that you can’t lead without trust and respect.

That being said, a leader who is a master of conflict resolution knows that healthy conflict creates a deepening bond. (Again, if you don’t believe me, ask the person you live with if, after you have actually stopped avoiding the conflict and got it all out on the table, they inevitably feel closer to you.)

Leaders must become masterful at dealing with generational diversity.

Generational bias has always been an issue, however, now more than ever in a global economy, it can be a crippling one.  As a discerning leader, I am going to ask you an important question. Do you believe that a Baby Boomer (people born between 1946 and 1964), Generation Xer (people born between mid 1960s to the early 1980s), Millennial (people born between 1982 and 2000) are all treated equally in the climb to the top?

Here’s an example from way back in the last century. I can remember when I first started speaking to individuals and organizations of influence back in the 80s. At that time, I came across research that said it took a rookie over 100 hours to learn the skills to become a fighter pilot.

It was estimated that that same level of training could be completed to competence in around 20 hours by a GenXer because of their much higher exposure to technology. Then came the Millennials. These latest members of the work force have grown up with even more electronic interface than the generation X group, and as a result their TQ (technical intelligence) far exceeds those of the last two generations.

The challenge can be that as a leader you are likely to be either a Boomer or an Xer, have likely climbed through the ranks and invested a considerable amount of time in getting where you are today. Now you are likely to find yourself leading Millennials, while having an empathetic bias towards your own generation.

You see, part of the challenge is that we often (even unconsciously) use the time we’ve put in, rather than effectiveness, as a standard of measure. Furthermore, even if we are measuring the effectiveness of our top players, our leaders, it’s important that we examine whether our criteria for measurement may also be outdated.

The challenge is that if the criteria by which we measure authentic leadership remain the same as it was for old school leadership, we won’t be able to recognise the value that is in front of us.

 

Leaders must learn how to lead in new ways.

The most important of the Top 3 Reasons “Leaders” are losing their Star Players is because of Inauthentic Leadership!

There was a time when a leader could lead through image, reputation, experience, force or any combination thereof…However, hold on to your seats. Ladies and Gentlemen, because that train has already left the station!

Today, if you want to keep your star players, you had better find out who they are, what they care about, what “really” motivates them, and how they want to be rewarded for great work. (Check out my special report called: The Full Monty Fierce Loyalty Generator http://FMLoyalty.com)

What this means is that if you want to generate fierce loyalty in your team (and ultimately in your customer and supplier base,) you have to show up and let them see you…warts and all.

I realize that this flies in the face of what you originally learned about being a leader and elevating yourself away from your “underlings.” Although that might have worked at some point in time, that outdated model will have your Star Players deserting you and your company so fast it will make your head spin!

Of course, there are far more than three reasons Leaders are losing their Star Players. I have just focused on the top three so that you can begin incorporating change right away.

In summary, if you want to keep your Star Players you must become a master of dealing with conflict in a healthy way. You will also need to seek to understand the other generations you are working with, remembering they likely have different values and priorities than you). And finally, you must be willing to let your people in, let them see that you are more than your title, or even your experience. Let them see you as a person!

Despite what you’ve been told, the truth is that Vulnerability is Power in the new global economy!

 

For opportunities to have Dõv Baron speak for your organization, Call:

+1 778 397 7717

or contact admin@fullmontyleadership.com

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Business Growth What’s Your Business Doing?
I need to ask you an important question. What’s your business doing?  Is it growing, staying about the same or losing ground?  Now let’s be brutally honest—and I suspect if you are like most business owners, you may be tempted to deny this–but if your business isn’t growing, it’s dying!

Now that you’ve caught your breath, let’s get clear about what I mean by growing. Growing in this context is NOT about experiencing 1%-3% growthdue to the fact that you laid off a bunch of people or radically cut cost and potentially the quality of what you do/produce. That’s not growing. That’s slowing the dying process.

Real growth is more than temporarily increasing the profit margin. If we are going to talk growth in business, one of the key areas we have to discuss is the quality of the leadership.

It could be argued that leadership is the most important quality for any business professional to have. With quality leadership, nearly any and every task can be accomplished.  Think about a leader you have known in the past.  This could be a boss, a teacher, a pastor, a congressman. Did this person inspire you? Did they make you angry, or did they not affect you at all?

If you said they didn’t affect you, you’d be wrong. Despite what you may believe, there is a powerful and somewhat destructive impact of having leaders who don’t inspire us.  And the main reason leaders don’t inspire is because they are disengaged.

We know from a 2011 Gallup Poll that 71% of American workers are “not engaged” or are “actively disengaged” in their work. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just the worker bees who are disengaged. Many top level C-suite executives are just as disengaged.  These leaders close their office doors and distance themselves from the group they are supposed to be leading.

Obviously, this sort of leadership is not the kind you desire in your organization.  But I hate to break it to you, but there’s a very good chance that you have leaders like that in your own organization. These “leaders” have positions of authority and you may even be assuming that they are leading in the direction of growth. However, where they are really leading is in the direction of keeping their position, title, status and or lifestyle. They are not mission, purpose or growth driven. They are not actively engaged in the corporate value system. They are, however, tremendously engaged in increasing their own personal bottom lines.

They are disengaged leaders!

Now you may still want to argue that it’s not the leadership that is the problem with lack of growth in your company, but with employees who don’t care.

Let me let you in on a dirty little secret. Employees disengage for one of three reasons:

  1. 1. They are being led by a disengaged leader.
  2. 2. They are at odds with the organization’s mission/purpose and or values.
  3. 3. They are a bad fit for your corporate culture. (Assuming your company actually has a corporate culture that’s more than a concept.)

Here’s the hard line truth behind all three of these reasons: employees disengage because leaders are disengaged at some level and therefore not authentically leading!

Let’s take a closer look at those three reasons.

First, if employees have a disengaged leader, you can pretty much guarantee they will become lazy themselves.  This is not necessarily because employees are inherently lazy, but rather, because employees (like children) do not do what they are told; they simply model the behaviour of their superiors.  If the leader doesn’t care about the growth of the company, neither will the employees.

When a team is led by a disengaged leader, there’s a good chance that team members will simply just do what they have to do in order to meet their job description, and not do anything to grow themselves or your organization.

Second, when employees are at odds with the organization’s mission/purpose and or values this again indicates poor leadership, because your leaders need to be crystal clear that every person who enters your employ fully understands the organization’s mission/purpose and or values. This is not possible if the leaders themselves do not understand it.

Let me give you an example. In 2006 a multinational company brought us to Europe to work with their leadership team. This was a dramatically impactful training that clearly rattled a lot of cages. Instead of my just coming in and doing the usual rah-rah, look how great you folks are, now let’s just pat each other on the back, I challenged the heck out of them.

Why did I do this? In my pre-interview with the individuals on the team, it became obvious that they were relationally disconnected from each other. This told me they were likely disconnected from the company as a whole and were therefore in all likelihood working in a silo mentality.

After a lengthy discussion with the global CEO about the need to break these silos and get the team to genuinely not only connect but bond, we went back into session.

I began by asking a single pointed question that they were required to answer out loud in fort of their peers and without the assistance of their peers. This simple question clearly caused the blood pressure of the CEO to rise. The question was:  “Would you please state out loud the mission statement of this company?” Each answer clearly demonstrated a challenge at the core of the company because no one (with exception of the Global CEO) actually knew the answer.

No wonder they were disengaged. You cannot expect your team to be fully engaged in the growth of a company when their only connection is a paycheck. Everyone in your organization must be aligned with the mission, purpose and vision of the company if it is to experience true growth.

Finally, if an employee is a bad fit for your culture, this again falls on leadership.  If the corporate culture isn’t lived by the leaders, it indicates to employees that the culture doesn’t matter and therefore it doesn’t matter if a person fits or not.  In a “momentum culture” there is congruence at every level from janitor to the C-suite.

It all comes down to this… For your company to grow you have to have all the obvious things like a rock-solid business plan, great procedural implementation and everything else we all know is the back bone of a business. However, for growth to have momentum, it must have legs. The three legs on which your company must be built in order to continue to grow are authentic, inspiring, and transparent leadership.  In other words, A Full Monty Leader.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea. The Full Monty Leader is not a rah-rah leader.  Absolutely not!  A Full Monty Leader will occasionally anger their team, not because they are being adversarial but rather because a Full Monty Leader is required to hold a greater vision of each of the individuals of the team than the members hold for themselves. Only then can team members begin to adopt the vision for themselves. This is an essential principle that will deeply inspire the people who are in your organization for more than a paycheck.

Full Monty Leadership is about developing a culture of authentic, engaged leaders at every level of your organization.  Leaders who feel deeply emotionally connected to the mission purpose and values of the company.

When you have that kind of leadership, you not only generate fierce loyalty but develop a company that is actively growing.

So let me ask you again– What’s Your Business Doing?

For opportunities to have Dõv Baron speak for your organization, Call:

+1 778 397 7717

or contact admin@fullmontyleadership.com

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Transparency THE Key to Successful Leadership
I have a question for you. What is the single most important key to successful leadership in today’s economy?

If you answered anything except being an authentic leader, you’d be wrong.

Being an authentic leader today is no longer a preference or an option. It is crucial!

Now let me be clear.  We are not talking about the idea of being authentic. We aren’t talking about the faux authenticity of sharing something that you think will impress someone.  No, we are talking about being real and genuine, being true to who you are and what you stand for.

An authentic leader is willing to embrace that they will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and what’s more, they are good with that realization. The leaders who are blazing the trail of new leadership are dedicated to developing deeper and deeper authenticity not only in themselves, their teams, but also in all their relationships on an ongoing basis.

They are willing to be who they really are.

Authentic leaders are dedicated to knowing themselves at deeper and deeper levels.  They embrace their own imperfections and they don’t pretend to have it all together.  They are transparent and they are honest about their imperfections, their inadequacies and the challenges they face. Where the old school leader would disown their failures or weaknesses, the authentic leader allows those things to propel them forward, because they understand thatVulnerability is Power.

As counter as it may seem to your original training as a leader, you need to know this at the depth of your being, so let me say it again:  Vulnerability is Power. Vulnerability is the power that will bond your star players to you and your organization. It will also bond your customers and providers to you with fierce loyalty.

I know what some of you are thinking. If you look and act confident that should be enough.  Let me tell you, if you think wearing your mask of confidence is going to work, you are dreaming! People can smell a fake a mile away.  That mask is screaming your insecurities so you might as well hang it up and become transparent.

So what is transparency?

Yes, transparency is about admitting your imperfections, your inadequacies and your challenges. However, it’s also about sharing your values, your mission, your vision and the meaning of why you do what you do. Transparency means opening up and sharing ideas, thoughts, goals, aspirations, values, worries, concerns and even downfalls.

Today’s workplace places high demands on both leaders and employees.More and more employees are now insisting on clearly stated reality and truth.  Apart from the need of a secure job and opportunities for career advancement, present workers desire to be part of a firm that prioritizes truth, trust and transparency. They desire to have proactive leaders who share with them the direction of the organization and are forthright about the future. They want transparency in order to plan for their lives.

Instead of just being content with having a job, today’s employee will often quickly jump ship if the leader they are supposed to follow is unwilling to demonstrate clarity of the future and transparent leadership.  (I go into detail about this in my special report on Becoming a Fierce Loyalty Generator. You can find it here: http://FMLoyalty.com)

Because many companies lack awareness regarding the needs of employees, they struggle to hold on to their star players. As stated in that special report–few things are more disruptive and costly to your business than an unexpected exodus from your talent pool. Despite the initial discomfort of removing the mask, in organizations where transparent, authentic leadership is made a priority, massive losses are prevented.

None of us can be authentic unless we are willing to admit our frustrations, insecurities and weaknesses. This is not to suggest that you should sit around moaning, complaining and whining about your problems—that would be a very poor career move.  However, in both our personal and professional lives, it is crucial that we open ourselves up to a close circle of people we can trust.

All that being said, transparent leadership starts with something few leaders have the cojones to do:  self-examination.

As leaders we can get carried away with knowing all the answers foreverything else outside ourselves and rarely do we take the time to know more about what’s inside ourselves.  In addition, all of us have a spot of denial about our own foibles.

Let’s face it, denial is far easier than facing the harsh truth that we may have some dysfunctional behaviors that we need to deal with. But if we are to become an authentic leader, we need to take off the self viewing rose-colored glasses, increase our self-awareness and uncover our blind spots. In short, you need to know your strengths so that you can capitalize on them. At the same time, you need to know your weaknesses so that you can delegate and deal with them.

Being an authentic leader means having an awareness of the true emotions behind what you feel. In Full Monty Leadership we say, “We are never just mad about what we are mad about.” What this means is your anger may be a cover up, a way to mask your disappointment, fear, shame, jealousy, embarrassment, shame or guilt.  Because authentic leaders are will to always go deeper into self-examination, they can recognize the root of an emotional reaction, and by doing so, gain the power to manage it. (This gives the Full Monty Leader exceptional relationship skills)

Can you honestly (not rhetorically) say why you do what you do in your position? Do you know what irritates you and what soothes you? Are you aware of your own dark side (we all have one) and how to deal with it? In order to be authentic and genuine in all your communications you must know yourself very well and be committed to remaining truly authentic even when it’s uncomfortable.

Because nothing generates fierce loyalty faster that an authentic leader.

Do you have the cojones to become one?

For opportunities to have Dõv Baron speak for your organization, Call:

+1 778 397 7717

or contact admin@fullmontyleadership.com

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