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How to Ignite Fierce Loyalty: The Inner Secret [Day 22 – 28 Days to BFL]


This is Day 22 of 28 Days of Building Fierce Loyalty. Yesterday Julie Steelman drew profiles of five distinct social “styles” and how they apply to our efforts at building fierce loyalty. Great “a-ha’s in the comments! Today, Eric Klein taps into our inner eye to teach us the secret of igniting fierce loyalty. He also drew a doodle just for us. 🙂

How to Ignite Fierce Loyalty: The Inner Secret

By: Eric Klein| @EricKlein

I was at our local YMCA this week to swim laps.

To get to the lap pool, I had to walk by the family pool. A toddler was standing at the edge of the pool shaking in fear. His mother was in the water with her arms out-stretched. She was gesturing and encouraging him to jump in.

Watching them, I recalled experiences with my sons when they were toddlers.

They’d standing at the pool’s edge trembling in fear while I stood in the water coaxing them to take the plunge. It takes more than one request.

It takes fierce loyalty to take the plunge.

Think about that kid. His body’s telling him to stay put; that to jump is to die; that the water is life threatening.

What’s true for that kid is true for your customer or client.

They’re at an edge. They’ve gone as far as they can, based on the skills, knowledge, and actions of the past. And they’re stuck. You can see what they need and want to help them take the plunge; take the next step.

But they hold back.

They hesitate. And maybe even walk (run?) away.

How can you help them past their fear so they can benefit from what you have to offer? Through creating a relationship of fierce loyalty.

Fierce loyalty carries people past their fear-conditioned limits.

Fierce loyalty cuts through fear. Before fierce loyalty is ignited, people can only offer you fear-based loyalty.

Fear-based loyalty says:

I’ll follow your lead and let you influence me as long as you:

  • Support my beliefs
  • Reinforce my identity
  • Make me feel good

Fierce loyalty changes the game. Fierce loyalty says:

I’ll follow your lead and let you influence me even when you:

  • Confront my beliefs
  • Challenge my identity
  • Make me feel uncomfortable

What makes it possible for a person to make that shift?

To allow you to influence them to that degree.

The answer comes from studying your own life. Take a moment and reflect on this:

Who do you allow to influence you?

I’ve asked this question of over 2,000 leaders participating in my program on influence and communication. I had them make a list. (You should too.)

Then I asked them, “Why? Why do you allow these people to influence you?

They gave three basic answers.

One was fear.

Another was respect for technical skills or knowledge.

But the deepest reason and the only one that generated fierce loyalty was this: because they have my best interest at heart.

We give fierce loyalty to those people who have our best interest at heart.

Take a moment to let that sink in.

The implication is clear.  If you want to ignite fierce loyalty in another person – have that person’s best interest at heart. Really, deeply, honestly.

This isn’t a marketing tactic. It’s an inner commitment.

When you make this commitment, it transmits itself through your words and action.

People will sense it. They may not be able to put it into words. But when they’re standing on the edge of the pool frozen in fear – it’s your inner commitment to their best interest that they will feel. It’s your inner commitment to their best interest that will communicate.

Because what you hold deeply, truly in your heart will:

  • Shape your thoughts.
  • Shine through your words.
  • Transmit through your actions.

With this inner commitment you’ll be able to study science of influence and all the  marketing tactics and systems – without slipping into sleaze or manipulation.

Okay I can hear an objection.

The objection says, “Eric, I have a business to run. If I just focus on what’s best for them  . . . what about me, my business, my life?”

Great question.

Here’s the short answer: to have their best interest at heart includes your staying in business. It includes you having the financial flow and stability that will support you in having their best interest at heart.

There’s no conflict between your success and having their best interest at heart.

Unless there is . . . for you. But don’t worry. All you have to do is . . . embrace the principle of having their best interest at heart.

When you embrace this principle fiercely – it will bring to light all the ways in which you do not have their best interest at heart. Because even when you consciously choose to hold their best interest at heart – there are parts of you that hesitate, hold back, and are unsure.

There are parts of your mind that believe it’s you or them.

Revealing those parts of your mind that are fearful, needy, and distrusting – is part of becoming fiercely committed to their best interest.

It’s an inner process of that reveals the parts of you that

  • buy into magic bullets
  • get-rich-quick schemes
  • flim-flam manipulation tactics

All of which comprise your ability to spark fierce loyalty. All of which divert you from having their best interest at heart.

Being fierce about having their best interest at heart will show you those parts of your mind that are petty, manipulative, fearful. It’s not pretty. But it’s real.

What do you do when you see those parts of your mind?

You act like that mother in the YMCA pool. You look the fearful parts of your mind in the eye – with love. And you tell them, “It’s okay. You can jump into my arms. I’m here for you. Let’s create something beautiful together.”

As more and more parts of your being make the commitment to holding others best interest at heart  – the people in your world will feel it. They’ll respond to your fierce resolve.

And as you become more fiercely aligned with that commitment –people will naturally line up at the edge of the pool and when you invite them to jump . . . they will.


Eric Klein is one of the few people on the planet who is both a lineage holder in a 5,000 year old yoga lineage and a best-selling business book author. You can get his free book 50 Ways to Leave Your Karma: Freedom, Fear, and the Art of Getting Unstuck at

Eric has worked with over 35,000 people to infuse greater meaning, awareness, and purpose into their work and lives. His book You are the Leader You’ve Been Waiting For won a 2008 Nautilus Book Award for being “a world-changing book promoting positive social change and responsible leadership”. He is the author of the best-seller, Awakening Corporate Soul: Four Paths to Unleash the Power of People at Work (over 200,000 copies sold) and To Do or Not To Do: How Successful Leaders Make Better Decisions.

He lives in Encinitas, California with his wife Devi. Learn more about their work (and get the free book) go to


P.S. If you aren’t already signed up and don’t want to miss out on  28 Days to Building Fierce Loyaltyplease sign up here.

P.P.S. Just in case you missed my announcement about my only live coaching retreat in 2012, you can catch up on the details (like there are only going to be 10 people there) and grab your seat here:

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