The Business Beatitudes dive deep into the motivation of Leaders and what drives them to succeed. In short, it is a matter of the heart, an unquenchable desire to sacrifice for others. Many have a DRIVING noble Purpose, but for some, that Purpose is malignant and fed by the stirrings on a darkened heart. Sacrifice and Perseverance must be rooted in the desire for excellence and elevation of thought.
SACRIFICE: The surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
PERSEVERANCE: Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose or state, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.
SUCCESSFUL ARE THE SACRIFICIAL. THEY DEVELOP PERSEVERANCE. Really…Sacrifice and Perseverance? They don’t even coexist in the same universe. Sacrifice is a bummer, a major burnout factor because it’s painful, while perseverance invites images of grit and determination, toughness. Sacrifice presents as a necessary evil to be grudgingly endured while perseverance looks like the trophy at the end: “YES, I PERSEVERED! LOVE ME!” It’s like this: We know that giving up something desirable is necessary to achieve a certain end. EXAMPLE: Studying for a test instead of watching Netflix is seen as a sacrifice at the time. We take the test and the sacrifice either pays off with the desired result, an A, or a C, based on perspective. For a short moment sacrifice and perseverance can peacefully coexist, with sacrifice as the means to an immediate end.
THEN we move on to whatever comes next. BUT (yes, I know, starting a sentence with ‘but’ isn’t really grammatically correct. Deal with it.) what about sacrifice as the MEANS to another valuable virtue, one that is totally NECESSARY in business? Sacrifice then transforms into that first required rung on the ladder of success. You can’t get to the second one without being ELEVATED by sacrifice. It may still look like a temporary requirement, BUT (notice grammatical correctness.) it is actually the ESSENTIAL/NECESSARY state-of-mind and ATTITUDE that one must develop to continue moving upward.
The cool thing about sacrifice is that it is AUTOMATICALLY BUILT-IN to the business leadership program. No need to buy those “Sacrifice and Love It!” or “Hey, Let’s Suffer Together!” self-help tomes. (Yes, I used the word ‘tome’ instead of ‘book’. Impressed?) From the moment the synapses in the brain are jumped and the decision is made to grow through the business leadership-building process that built-in virtue factory starts grinding out pink unicorns and rainbows…HA! You thought I was going to say “SACRIFICE”! Well, I really was, just thought pink unicorns and rainbows would get your attention. Seriously though, as in the definition, the surrender of something else that is prized or desirable MUST BE forfeited in order to move through this process. Your body, mind and soul just can’t be in two places at once.
Remember, sacrifice is closely linked to discipline. They need each other, a perpetual motion machine of sorts that increases its own production through the give and take reality of practicing discipline. That might mean getting up early or setting a non-negotiable daily schedule; while sacrifice is, “No, I won’t buy the new car now. I’ll wait.” Delayed gratification never hurt anyone. Quite the contrary, it helps. Over time the Sacrifice muscle strengthens to support your newly-incorporated disciplines and even though the dangling carrot/goal may sometimes move farther away, the discipline to continue reaching for it, based on the BEAUTIFUL ATTITUDE THAT SACRIFICE IS NECESSARY, WILL RESULT IN PERSEVERANCE, which is nothing more that CONSISTENT DISCIPLINE.
CALL TO ACTION: Write down one sacrifice that must be made in order to begin your business-leadership growth-journey. Take note that this is just the beginning. There’s no need to bog yourself down with a long list what will inevitably end up in the trash.
ULTIMATE GOAL: That simple exercise will prime the pump of creative thought and deeper consideration of the long-lasting value of a beautiful attitude in business leadership.