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How willing are you to make sacrifices for your team?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How willing are you to make sacrifices for your team?

  • Very — They get everything I have regardless of the cost to me: 23% 
  • Mostly — I’ll make sacrifices for them up to a point: 68%
  • Kind of — I’ll make a sacrifice if it isn’t too painful: 5%
  • Not very — I’ll make sacrifices in rare instances: 1%
  • Not at all — I don’t get paid enough to make sacrifices: 3% 

Leaders sacrifice… to a point. The vast majority of you put yourselves out there for your teams. We love our people, right? Nothing we wouldn’t do for them! All around us are role models for sacrifice. We aspire to be that leader who gives their all for the team. Just be careful – remember your organization doesn’t love you as much as you love it. Your sacrifices can take a toll on your health and require extraordinary resilience on your part. If your sacrifices aren’t appreciated, you run the risk of being resentful. I’m not saying not to make sacrifices. I’m simply encouraging you to be mindful of the consequences of those choices.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box,” and “The Elegant Pitch.”