Imagine there’s been a shake-up at your job and you’ve inherited a new boss.
Let’s say your job is one where you advise the boss on communication matters: everything from relationships with your consumer publics, to relationships with the mass media.
In the weeks since his hiring, your new boss schedules talks with all employees, one-on-one, and it turns out he expects a pledge of loyalty from each individual.
You sit down with your boss and the conversation goes something like this, with your boss asking:
Will you pledge your loyalty to me?
You think carefully about your response.
Your job requires you to be honest with your publics, your administration, and with those who put their trust in you.
You don’t want to upset your boss or lose your job, but you figure your job can’t exist without honest relationships.
So, instead, you reassure your boss that you will always be honest with him.
Your boss replies:
But I need your loyalty.
And you repeat your promise:
I will always be honest with you.