No Reward Without Sacrifice

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What are you willing to give up to get where you are going?

Do you remember that 90’s movie, “Joe Versus the Volcano”, where Tom Hanks’ character shouted, “Take the volcano”? The premise of the movie is about a person who doesn’t have a lot going for them, but is willing to sacrifice their life for the greater good of an island nation. Even after the unlikely hero finds a reason to live, he still decides to move forward with the original sacrificial plan because the entire concept is bigger than him. His sacrifice will benefit everyone else.

Let’s connect the dots. Your company is the volcano, the island people are your employees, and you get to play Joe (Hanks’ character).

Being a business leader (owner, CEO, president, etc.) takes a lot of commitment, dedication, and sacrifice. There is a reason that the higher a position, the smaller the candidate pool. It’s not that there is a lack of skill, but of people willing to tip the scale of balance of home life and work life as they climb that corporate ladder.

Sometimes it comes down to who is willing to do more. Former Yahoo CEO, Carol Bartz, once talked about what she had to give up as a parent to succeed in business. “She admitted that she made every effort to overcome daily pressures and see her daughter every day, but there were times when even she had to compromise her parenting experience.”

Is it worth it? That is a big question because it all comes down to what you define “it” as being. If done correctly, sacrifice should come with reward, which is the reason that you were making the sacrifice in the first place. However, others will view your efforts as not worth it and unrewarding based on what you gave up.

Why do you work hard, and what is your definition of success? Some people work to provide for their family, while others “work hard to play hard”. There is no right or wrong answer because it’s your goal to climb that corporate ladder, and in doing so understanding the tradeoff those certain levels of success bring with it.

What has been your biggest sacrifice so far? That, of course, is another big question because it has the possibility of having a ripple effect of life altering decisions; a “what could have been” scenario.

Finally, let me end by asking this one last question; what are you not willing to sacrifice for your career?


April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.

Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.

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