For a leader to go up he must first give up. Maxwell’s Law of Sacrifice isn’t news to anyone who has been leading for very long. However, seeing the Law of Sacrifice hit your life full force, can be quite a humbling experience.
When I first read Maxwell’s Law of Sacrifice I wasn’t surprised. I was actually curious why it took him so long in the book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership to mention it. Anyone in leadership has experienced long nights, travel, phone calls at home, even that occasional canceled vacation.
I’ve certainly had my share of sacrifices climbing to the Vice President role, but nothing had prepared me for what was to come. The news broke that the leadership of our Accounting Department was leaving our company. The news hit me by surprise.
It was the end of the year and I had been planning a major overhaul of our accounting department starting the beginning of the year. I knew the Law of Sacrifice would rear it’s ugly head during the process, I didn’t know it’d be this bad. Losing the leader of this depart meant I needed a replacement, quick.
I needed someone who knew the ins and out of the entire department. I needed someone who I could rely on. I needed someone who would sacrifice for the team if I was going to accomplish this overhaul in the midst of losing a leader. I found only one candidate; myself.
Watching the Law of Sacrifice as it takes a hold of your family and your personal life isn’t easy. During the process I learned that keeping your eyes on the prize is the only way to justify what is happening around you. When the Law of Sacrifice sweeps through and asks you to “Give Up” it takes whatever it wants. I lost the following:
My Blog – This is my first post in over a month!
Recreation – I didn’t swing a golf club or go out with friends the whole time.
Family – I spent parts of my Holidays in the office all by myself
Pride – I sat on the sideline’s and watched helplessly as my wife took care of our entire home life all on her own. I felt worthless not having time to take care of her. Thankfully I married up and my wife understands the Law of Sacrifice as well.
When the smoke settled and the dust cleared we all came out better than when we entered. The events could have destroyed the company. Employees could have gone without paychecks, the IRS wouldn’t have been paid, our vendors accounts would have been placed on hold, our employee’s wouldn’t receive their W2’s. The implications were far-sweeping and could have crippled a large company.
Of course, the worst didn’t happen. Because when the Law of Sacrifices makes you “give up” it in turn makes you “go up.” We came out of the ordeal gaining much more than we lost.
Systems – We installed, upgraded, and implemented a new accounting system in only 4 weeks.
Upgrades – three new hires and an expanded accounting department make us better equipped to handle future growth.
Delegation – Forced to focus, I was forced to delegate a few things I’d been holding onto for far too long.
New Horizon – My entire life was overhauled, waste was cut, assumptions were challenged. My sleep schedule was even flipped. I now sleep only 6 hours a night and feel great thanks to the adoption or a Biphasic Sleep Schedule.
Influence – The outcomes of my efforts gained me new influence at work and added credibility to my leadership.
Pride – Accomplishing a seemingly impossible task and watching my wife spring into action makes me more proud of our family than ever before.
Coming out of the storm is like watching the sun rise the morning after a violent thunderstorm. There is a peace and feeling of comfort. I see the fruits of my labor and can get back to normal. I still owe my wife for the role she played, but this new normal is much better than the old normal.
What has the Law of Sacrifice taken from you and what, in return, did you receive?