Real leadership often involves sacrifice. And it is the sacrifices of those that have lead the way and who have forged a path to freedom and liberty that we remember today. Now is also a time to remember those who today stand a watch that allows me to grill hamburgers in my back yard today and then lay my head on my pillow tonight in safety and security.
One of the fallacies that exist today is that the higher one goes in leadership within an organization the more freedom they will have to do what they want. Nothing can be farther from the truth. In fact it is quite the opposite. The higher one rises the less personal freedoms you have and the greater your responsibility is to those who you lead and serve.
Rodney Mills captured the essence of sacrificial leadership when he wrote on the subject of Being a Servant Leader – A Theme last September. Out of the 8 points he made, the very first one on the list was that being a servant leader requires sacrifice. That is counter culture for many of us. It is counter to human nature that you would run into a burning building while others are running from it. Nevertheless there are brave men and women who do that every day. So, developing a spirit of self-sacrifice is possible. It just isn’t intuitive.
Billy Long picked up that theme in January of this year in his article entitled Leadership and Sacrifice and reminded us that we need to make personal sacrifices if we are going to be there for our families. And he reminded us that we all need to consider some sacrificing of the sense of entitlement if our country is to regain the stature that it once enjoyed in the eyes of the rest of the world.
And finally, I want you to consider the words of the late Nelson Mandela. In a speech in April of 1998 he reminded his audience of the following:
“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all
for the freedom of their people.”
The men and women that we honor today understood that concept. And many sacrificed their very last breath in order that you and I might live in peace and have the opportunity to pursue happiness and economic prosperity.
Leadership Voices hopes that as you spend time with your family today that you will reflect on the freedoms that you enjoy and that you will reflect on the sacrifices that were made for you.
Photo credit: Tony Fischer Photography / Foter / (CC BY 2.0)
Photo credit: The U.S. Army / Foter / (CC BY 2.0)
Photo credit: MastaBaba / Foter / (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Photo credit: www.ForestWander.com / Foter / (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.