Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Emerging from Easter Weekend, smack in the middle of this world-wide pandemic, the concept of sacrificing the personal in order to protect others becomes an obvious focus. Jesus died and rose from the grave so that mankind could live eternally; this is the Easter Message. Reading an article this week on the pandemic, I was struck by the following few lines: "If you tell people: 'Do this or you will get the virus,' that doesn't work as well as saying 'Do this or you will spread the virus on to other people,' " he said. "People seem actually more motivated to make sacrifices for others."
I have observed the concept of sacrifice for more than 50 years in sport, business and life. This simple concept appears to be ingrained throughout humanity. If we focus on ourselves, our needs, our goals and our dreams, and we speak always with this "me" focus, then others soon recognize our motive and act accordingly. But when we focus on others, sacrificing self to protect, lift up, and take care of others, and use deflection language, people recognize this as sacrifice, as a team focus, and act similarly towards us.
Football coach Bear Bryant said it using language that I love:
“If something goes wrong, I did it.
If something goes right, we did it.
If something goes really well, they did it.”
We like to call the core motive behind this core concept, Deflection.
During this uncertain time, who are you playing for?
The culmination of the 2001 NHL playoffs saw Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic receive the Stanley Cup from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. As Sakic took the Cup he did something very few captains in NHL history have done. Instead of lifting it high over his head in celebration, Joe moved it sideways across his body and handed it to Ray Bourque, who with exhilaration, lifted the Stanley Cup high, brought it down, and gave it a huge kiss. Ray Bourque had been traded to Colorado after 17 seasons with the Boston Bruins. Ray Bourque had never won a Stanley Cup.