Aké Satia is the Chief Vision Officer at Aké Satia, a Human Capital firm in the DC area focused on strengthening organizations by bolstering the intersection of people strategy and business strategy.



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Walking with Another!

Has someone ever said to you: Walk with me!
I have heard these words from family, friends, and business leaders. I have a hunch you have too! Depending on the source, these words might sound like an enchanting offer or a terrifying proposition! Because asking someone to walk with us is a bid for connection, and walking with another is a mark of connectedness.
But what exactly does it take to walk with another – emotionally

Let us explore!

Walking with another

Walking with another is a vital component of co-creating life, as I shared a couple of weeks ago: Co-creating Life! – BLOG – www.akesatia.com.
In this context, walking with another does not pertain to physical movement. Instead, it is an emotional and mental undertaking, one that is essential for building strong partnerships. Remarkably, this is what most of us desire! Organizational leaders want workers to contribute all they can to grow and sustain the business, and partners long for each other to remain steadfastly committed and engaged. And when untainted, this yearning stems from the undeniable human need to be supported, know we are not alone, and unite with one another. Or to walk with another.
But what enables one to walk with another?  

As was wisely said: Two cannot walk together unless they have agreed to do so. – To walk with another requires agreement and strong agreements are grounded in loyalty.
To better grasp this, let us pull back the curtain on loyalty!

I will walk with you, and I will stand by you. 

Has someone ever told you they trust you, are committed to you, and have confidence in you?
You may have heard this expression of loyalty from a leader, parent, partner, or child. While these words are sweet to the soul and soothing to the heart, they are just words. However, loyalty is much more than a compilation of alphabet letters. Loyalty implies faithfulness, which is steadfast in the face of any temptation to renounce, desert, or betray. Loyalty Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster. And who does not want this?

Undeniably, we all want others to be loyal to us!
For this reason, anywhere humans reside, from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, you will not hear someone say: I do not want anyone to be there for me through thick and thin, accepting and loving me for who I am, being authentic and treating me kindly. – We will not hear one say this because the human desire and need for unwavering support, steadfast love, and unconditional positive regard are innate. And this need is met when another is loyal to us.

Expectedly, loyalty is of acute interest in business, where companies with an insatiable desire to win minds and dip into wallets attempt to garner customer loyalty. 😉
While that is an intriguing scope, we will limit our exploration to loyalty between individuals.

The dynamic duo!

Loyalty is grounded in trust and confidence!
Trust and confidence are a dynamic duo, so tightly interwoven that one cannot exist without the other. Because to trust another is to believe that they are honest and sincere and will not deliberately do anything to harm you.
And if you have confidence in someone, you rely on them and feel you can trust them. (As defined in the Collins Dictionary)
Indeed, we cannot trust one we are not confident in, and vice versa.
Notably, trust and confidence are not empty words. They are the outcome of demonstrated capabilities.

To make this real, I’ll share a personal story.

Building Trust and Confidence.

Have you ever seen a mom or dad lead their child across a street? I bet most of us have! The authentic display of care, protection, and selflessness enveloped in this simple gesture makes it one of the most beautiful interactions between a person and another. 

When I was a kid, I distinctly remember experiences crossing the road! Crossing the road was a big deal because when I was growing up, my family lived in big cities that were very populated. Indeed, it seemed the cities never slept as the streets were constantly bustling with people, vehicles, and sometimes animals! And as many hurried around conducting their businesses – some legitimate, others not so much, it felt like the wild, wild west. Given the obvious risk, as a little kid, I knew crossing streets alone was not allowed! And I often crossed streets with my mom, who displayed ultra-protective tendencies that I later described as Mother Hen inclinations.

An aside:
True to form, the Mother Hen characteristics of my mom extended beyond me. Because to this day, any wailing babies instantly coo as they lay in her arms. And once mothers learn this, they bring their newborns to my mom to carry, even when they’ve known her for no more than five minutes. Indeed, it is a magnificent sight to behold! 😊

Remarkably, crossing busy streets with my mom is one of my most vivid childhood memories because, despite the mayhem, I felt safe as I relied on her for support. As soon as we headed toward the road, she would grasp my hand firmly yet gently. And before we crossed a street, I would look left and right twice as she instructed. Then, I would look up at her, squeeze her fingers with my little fingers, confidently take the first step and cross the road with her. – As long as my hand was in my mom’s hand, I was never afraid that any harm would come my way. Because I was confident, she would never abandon me.
As a result, as I grew older through the dreaded teenage years and beyond, I would follow her wherever she led. Because over the years, my trust and confidence in her only grew, and she earned my loyalty!

Indeed, loyalty is earned. And earning loyalty requires patience, consistency, and honesty. When you reflect on the people you are loyal to, I bet you see evidence of these qualities.

The value of earning loyalty.

Though my trust and confidence in my mother is significant today, it did not come overnight or as a result of her birthing me. 😊 My intense loyalty to her resulted from many experiences where she displayed patience, consistency, and honesty. Such as the multitude of times when she diligently picked me up from school or playdates on time, the countless evenings when she set aside her work to listen to my woes and help me do my homework, and the memorable moments when she called out my mistakes and called me higher, while diligently reaffirming her love and belief in me. 

Today, when I ask my mom how she gained the bounty of trust and confidence she wields as a mom, wife, mother-in-law, grandma, aunt, and friend, she always reminds me that it did not happen overnight.

Indeed, earning loyalty requires patience, consistency, and honesty. And loyalty says: I will walk with you through lush gardens and thorny bushes.

Friend, who is walking with you, and who are you walking with?

For you and to you,



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