I believe, making some huge, heart-in-mouth decisions, comes as part of the territory for every good business leader! They do things that are personally unpleasant or even risky, simply for the good of the company, or to protect the people who work for them. There are times when they may take a pay cut to avoid redundancies in darker times. They may take responsibility for a mistake by another so someone else doesn’t get blamed. Often decisions are made that they know will put an extra burden on them emotionally or in terms of time and energy, in order to benefit their staff or customers. And perhaps most important of all, they make ethical choices that may not be comfortable or lucrative, but because it is simply the right thing to do.
And why is this form of sacrifice a positive I hear you ask? Well, I believe that when we consciously put aside our own ease, benefit or preference for a greater good, it exercises a kind of ‘moral muscle’ in us. It strengthens us by showing us that we are not simply selfish, hedonistic creatures; that we can make a determination about what is right and what is important to us, and act accordingly. And it creates stronger bonds of trust and mutual respect between us and those around us. In this case, our staff and customers alike.
Of course, there are many business leaders who will have different views on sacrifice or come at it from a different perspective but in my organisation, an ethical, honest approach ensures those around me know exactly what is expected from them also. Business peers whom I respect, always champion: ‘lead from the front’ & ‘set good examples’. Personally, I love honest feedback from our clients, and I appreciate my staff’s honesty during reviews so what’s a little sacrifice.
Let’s face it, Alistair Brownlee may have sacrificed a potential win to help his brother Johnny recently, but who is the reigning Olympic Champion?
Thanks for reading