The Law of Sacrifice

A leader must give up to go up. — John C. Maxwell
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Reflections on John C. Maxwell’s “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”

The most valuable lesson I learned in screenwriting is that the protagonist has to sacrifice himself at the end of your film. The leader of your story must give something of herself up to achieve the final goal.

We’ll always have Paris.

In the film Casablanca, Rick gives up his one true love for the greater good. Despite his rough-around-the-edges personality, he shines forth as a beacon of ethics and morality.

No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.

The story of Jesus called the greatest story ever told, is one of sacrifice. For Christianity, Jesus’ death on the cross destroys death’s sting and reunites humanity with its Creator. There is something far greater for humanity that Jesus gives up his life to lead others to what is called the “Beatific Vision.”

Despite knowing the journey and where it leads, I embrace it and I welcome every moment of it.

Arguably, the best sci-fi film of our generation, Arrival, reveals the sacrifice of Louise Banks, a linguist who decodes an alien language that helps her see the future. She has a vision of her future daughter and her unavoidable death, yet despite knowing the pain she will feel, she sacrifices her joy to give her daughter a taste of life and a deserved fight for survival.

Decisions made out of sacrifice in the best interest of the other is what real leadership is all about.

 3 Revelations of the Law of Sacrifice

  1. There is no success without sacrifice — A leader cannot expect to succeed if they are unwilling to sacrifice. If you want to obtain a Master’s degree, you will have to sacrifice social activities and masses of time. If you’re going to start a business, you will have to sacrifice income, time, and stability. If you want to raise a child, you will have to sacrifice sleep, emotional control, and sanity (for all my parents reading this). For success to be accessed, a sacrifice must be excessed.
  2. Leaders are often asked to give up more than others —It would be ridiculous for the founder of a new startup to work half the hours his employees work. The company would fail even before it ever lifts off the ground. A strong leader is expected to give up more fo themselves to better the company’s future and its employees. It’s what a leader does.
  3. You must keep giving up to stay up —For employees to respect their leader and for the company to remain successful, the leader must continue this practice of sacrifice. The more a leader gives up, the more successful the company.
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