When we hear the word sacrifice, we often think of completely selfless acts in which someone does something for another entirely for the other person's benefit. The image of a soldier sacrificing his life for his comrades frequently comes to mind. But sacrifice isn't purely selfless. The best definition of sacrifice is one that I found in American Heritage Dictionary: "To forfeit something for something else considered to have a greater value." Sacrifice does not mean giving up something for nothing; it means giving up one thing for something else we believe is worth more, "a greater value." This means a leader who lays down his life for his family or for his team has chosen to place more value on their lives than on his own.
In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C. Maxwell points out that the Law of Sacrifice says, "A leader must give up to go up." A leader cannot achieve and get something without giving up something in return. In order to attain something you believe is of greater value, you must give up something you believe is of lesser value. Our society today tries to minimize sacrifice at every turn, promising people that they can fulfill their desires without having to forsake anything at all. "Lose weight without giving up your favorite foods!" "Get ripped without long workouts!" "Get rich without having to work hard!" All of these are fantasies! Leaders understand that there is always a price to pay. Time, energy, money, commitment – all require sacrifice. Without hard work, pain, turmoil, commotion, anxiety, stress, and tension, there is no growth, no change. You must pay the price!
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.