from The Right to Lead
by John C. Maxwell

One of the reasons leaders need courage and character is that sacrifice is often a crucial part of leadership. Take a look at these leaders from Scripture and what they gave up.

Noah: He was the first person to make great sacrifices to become a leader. How would you feel if you were required to give up every place and every person you had ever known (other than seven family members) to be the leader God wanted you to be? That’s what Noah did. The world started over from scratch with him. Many people faced with the same prospect would have said, “Forget it,” and lain down to die.

Abraham: The calling of Abraham involved his leaving his family and home in Ur to go to a land he’d never seen. He went not knowing where he was going. And after he got to his destination, he wasn’t allowed to put down roots and establish himself. He lived in tents all his life.

Joseph: One of the most gifted and promising leaders in the history of the Hebrews was sold into slavery. He gave up his comfort, his home, and his freedom. Only after years of service and imprisonment was he freed from prison for interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams. His reward was being put in charge of the most powerful nation on earth.

Nehemiah: This leader gave up a cushy job in the palace of a king to travel a thousand miles to a brokendown city in the boondocks. And when he got there, he faced opposition and death threats. Yet he was able to rebuild the city walls of Jerusalem, bringing pride and protection to its people.

Paul: This disciple of Jesus Christ gave up his secure life as a Pharisee of Pharisees to become an itinerant worker in Asia. Through the course of his career, he was persecuted, beaten, whipped, stoned, shipwrecked, and ultimately executed because of his leadership for the cause of Christ. He is considered the greatest of the apostles.