#18 THE LAW OF SACRIFICE: A Leader Must Give Up to Go Up

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You have to give up to go up.

Many people today want to climb up the corporate ladder because they believe that freedom and power are the prizes waiting at the top. They don’t realize that the true nature of leadership is really sacrifice.

Most people will acknowledge that sacrifices are necessary fairly early in a leadership career. People give up many things in order to gain potential opportunities. But the minute they climb, they forget the sacrifices they had to make and why they need to keep making sacrifices.

Sacrifice is a constant in leadership. It is an ongoing process, not a one-time payment.

Leaders who want to rise have to do more than take an occasional cut in pay. They have to give up their rights. Gerald Brooks says “ When you become a leaders, you lose the right to think about yourself”. For every person, the nature of the sacrifice may be different. The circumstances may change from person to person, but the principle doesn’t. Leadership means sacrifice.

As you rise in leadership, responsibilities increase and rights decrease.

Talk to leaders, and you will find that the higher the leader has climbed, the greater the sacrifices he has made. Effective leaders sacrifice much that is good in order to dedicate themselves to what is best. That’s the way the Law of Sacrifice works.

If leaders have to give up to go up, then they have to give up to stay up. You cannot replicate success without giving up more to sustain it. Leadership success requires continual change, improvement, and sacrifice. One act of sacrifice seldom brings success that’s why we mustn’t complain or congratulate ourselves when we give up something and things don’t work out the way we expect. But there’s always something gained in the end. Philosopher-poet Ralph Waldo Emerson offered this option: “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gained, you lose something.

The Law of Sacrifice demands that the greater the leader, the more he must give up.

While pursuing his course of leadership during the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King was arrested and jailed on many occasions. He was stoned, stabbed, and physically attacked. His house was bombed. Yet his vision – and his influence – continued to increase. Ultimately, he sacrificed everything he had. But what he gave up. He parted with willingly. As a result, he influenced millions of people to peacefully stand up against a system and society that fought to exclude them.

What successful people find to be true becomes even clearer to them when they become leaders. There is no success without sacrifice. The higher the level of leadership you want to reach, the greater the sacrifices you will have to make.

To go up, you have to give up. That is the true nature of leadership.

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