What Would You Pay For Loyalty?


A Critical Doer works as hard to develop strength of character as strength of talent 

A Critical Doer is willing to lead 


I recently came across a story in Business Insider about GoPro CEO Nick Woodman that is worthy of sharing because of its connection to Critical Doer philosophy.

According to the story, when Woodman founded GoPro his college roommate was the first employee.  When he came onboard in 2004 at the very beginning of the GoPro journey, Woodman told his roommate he’d give him 10 percent of any money he ever made selling stock in the company.  Last month, Woodman made good on his promise and gave his former roommate 4.7 million shares valued at $229 million!  If you’ve ever wondered about the return on investment for loyalty, I think you just found your answer.

Looking a little deeper, you have to feel optimistic about GoPro’s chances over the long haul.  A successful company is the product of high quality people.  With an example of loyalty like we see in Nick Woodman, those high quality people will gravitate to GoPro rather than a competitor.

In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell’s rule #9 is “the law of magnetism.”  According to the law of magnetism, a leader tends to attract people with similar values.  The example we see through the public eye of Nick Woodman is innovative, energetic, and we see now that he’s loyal even when demonstrating it comes at a very high cost.  Innovative, energetic, and loyal people are a great nucleus for building a business that succeeds and stands the test of time…and it flows from the character of the company’s leader.

Here’s your challenge, and maybe the most difficult one I’ve posed to you.  If you are in charge of an organization and you are not satisfied with your people, it’s worth your time to do some serious soul searching and critically ask whether the behavior that you find insufficient is a reflection of you.

If you have a clear vision of what you expect your people to become, you have to be that person first.  No doubt, through Woodman’s example the culture of GoPro is bound to be one of loyalty and keeping your word.  Learn from this example and come to grips with the idea that we have to be great before we can do great.  It’s what a Critical Doer would…do!


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Updated: June 14, 2015 — 1:09 pm

1 Comment

  1. I diagree with the premise that “I” inferred from the title.

    I do not think you pay for loyalty. You earn it!

    After reading the first part — I was still thinking that way.

    After reading the WHOLE thing, I agree — Woodman EARNED the loyalty by living up to his word.

    How much is your word worth? Enough to earn loyalty?

    A related difficult issue — how can you keep earning loyalty when circumstances change and invalidate what you gave your word about?

    And how about those folks who don’t have the whole story and “think” you broke your word when you didn’t!

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