The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, a Leadership Perspective 11 of 15

The Law of Trade-Offs – You Have to Give Up to Grow Up

We all get the same 24 hours in a day and a similar overwhelming to-do list.  The difference comes from the tasks and time we are willing to give up in order to achieve something greater.

Here are 3 Trade-Offs every Leader has to Make


A leadership role usually implies a number of direct reports be it 1 person or 20.  As such, the leader will need to spend time with each individual for development, 1x1s, setting expectations, and projects discussion.

These tasks take time and are necessary to ensure the entire team is on the same boat.  The time spent is additional to the time required for the leader to work on his/her projects.  The leader tasks may include strategy development, communication with external customers, developing training materials, managing workflow, and reviewing other’s work.

In essence, leaders have less time to waste, more responsibility, and have to worry about others and themselves at the same time.


Most likely, the person getting the leadership role was promoted because of their production and quality of work.  Knowing that the person just finished several years of working alone and actively creating new tools and populating models, it’s very common for the new leader to struggle with being removed from hands on work.

A leader needs to trade off hands-on time for strategy planning, idea generation, and personnel development.  This doesn’t mean he/she is not producing, it just means “production” has a more theoretical meaning.  Instead of building tools the leader spends most of the time in strategy development.


Because leaders must be the example of the values and culture of the company, they have to forfeit the rants, complaints, and negative emotions.  In short, a leader doesn’t have the right to show negative behaviors.

If the leader shows negative behaviors, then who’s going to keep the energy going?

There you have it, 3 sacrifices leaders must do for the greater good.

What other sacrifices have you made in order to lead others?


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