I've written about the subject of hope on this blog before, sharing one of my favorite quotes about leadership, "A leader is a dealer in hope." (Check out these blogs about hope.) Lately, I keep returning to this quote and thinking about what it really means to "deal in hope." As a leader, how do I share hope with those around me? It's not always easy, is it? It can be particularly difficult when things in your own life aren't as you want them to be.
I present this question for your reflection: Is having hope and sharing it with those around you a responsibility of leadership?
First of all, let's look at how hope is defined. Merriam-Webster says hope means, "to desire with expectation of obtainment" and "to expect with confidence." As a leader, what do you "expect with confidence" will happen?
Psychologist C.R. Snyder and his colleagues explain that "hope is cultivated when we have a goal in mind, determination that a goal can be reached, and a plan on how to reach those goals." Snyder is reminding us that hope is a prerequisite to goal achievement. Our own hope is strengthened through the goal setting process, as is our belief in ourselves. Goal setting takes us from dreaming and wishing to expecting with confidence that we will achieve what we set out to achieve.
Think about your own goals for a moment. Do you expect that you will achieve them? Are you willing to put your hope into ACTION so that you can achieve your goals? How are you supporting others, especially those who matter most to you, as they strive to achieve their goals?