Saturday, July 10, 2010
LeBron James announced last night that he would leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and join Miami Heat. Cleveland was disappointed, upset, and then angry. The Cavs' majority owner Dan Gilbert called the decision a "cowardly betrayal." This issue of loyalty reminds me of a survey done by market research company Ipsos back in March.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll asked more than 1,000 Americans to consider 29 categories of people, organizations, products and services, and determine whether the actions of those entities over the past two years have made them more or less loyal to them. The top of the results? 70% said they were more loyal to their country than two years ago. After that, there were "spouse, partner or significant other" (64%), "family doctor" (58%), the "brand of car" they were driving (56%), a restaurant they went to frequently (56%), their favorite music station (55%), religion (54%), and where they got their news from on TV (54%).
What about a job? Only 39% Americans said they became more loyal to their employers. That's lower than a TV show (drama 47%, comedy 41%) or a soft drink (41%). Only 55% of employees said they would stay at their job and turn down higher pay elsewhere, which suggested that 45% might "jump ship" for better offers. The poll also showed that most Americans do not believe companies are doing a good job at recognizing and rewarding loyal employees or customers. Loyalty is a two-way street. If your contribution is not properly recognized or rewarded, why stick around?
Let's face it. Basketball for LeBron is a job. Nobody can say his work was not recognized or rewarded - getting two back-to-back MVPs in the last two years is quite something. But he wants the championship so bad. “I think the major factor, the major reason, in my decision was the best opportunity to win, and to win now and to win into the future also,” he said at the press conference. LeBron has stayed with the Cavs for seven years now but got no title. If your job can't give you what you want, maybe it's really time to move on.