Friday, January 8, 2016

the power of hope

I believe that it was Napoleon who coined the phrase "leaders are dealers in hope," a concept I have been teaching for many years.  The world (at least the college football world) witnessed this several weeks ago when the TCU football team came back from a 31-0 deficit at half time to beat the Oregon Ducks 47-41 in three overtimes.  We may never know exactly what was said by Coach Patterson during halftime in the locker room, but something happened that gave the players hope - the ridiculous hope that they could come back and win a game that seemed unwinnable.

I have also seen the opposite effect when people have given up on hope and how that affected them mentally and physically.  When the patient has been doing well for the longest time hears the words "I'm afraid there is nothing else that can be done," they often go into a tail spin and are dead within a few weeks or months.  Hope sustains (even when there is no reason for hope)...hope creates positivity (even when the outlook is negative)...and hope gives life (even when death is imminent).

So what can leaders do to provide hope within their organization?  Here are a few ideas:
  • provide a clear vision that inspires and is something bigger than what one or two people could accomplish on their own
  • tell stories that support that vision and provide a picture of what is possible
  • create an engaged community, where people are participating in the future of the organization and feel as if they have a part in the success of the organization
  • be honest and realistic about the current state of affairs, explaining it in a way that people can understand
  • put the right people in the right places throughout the organization
  • allow people to share their worries openly and honestly
  • take courageous steps to right the situation, no matter how hard they might be
  • never blame others for what got the organization to its current are the leader right now
  • remind people that others have weathered this type of situation in the past and overcame the odds that were against them
  • don't in front..and over-communicate what you want people to know and do

1 comment:

LearnerJim said...

Great bullet points. Remain positively realistic. Believe that there is a correct and positive outcome. That is the Faith that leads to the hope.