- Seek out other hopeful, willing and courageous people. They need your to succeed.
- Avoid pessimists. Acknowledge the reasons for their doubt (they may be right), but don’t wallow in their world.
- Step off the curb. How often do people — fully aware of an opportunity — stand frozen in alarm? Leaders tip the delicate balance of hope and fear in favor of hope. To do that, call somebody who can help, or pull together a team to grab ideas and go.
- Build your storytelling skills. Think of metaphors to describe what you want to accomplish. Look your listeners in the eye and communicate why this spreadsheet is important to them, offering a reason that will affect their future. A meaningful story helps instill hope.
- Provide your team with simple mantras — sometimes called “private speech” — that will guide their decision-making. Losers freak out; leaders “freak in” by staying focused.
- Use symbols to raise the group’s awareness and make hope actionable. A symbol can be almost anything. Nelson Mandela used sandwiches to fight apartheid. Lance Armstrong uses bracelets to fight cancer.
- Create a belief system. Pull a group of your stars together for a conversation about what they believe and why. Why are they in these jobs? In this field? If you can align personal and organizational beliefs, you win.
—Adapted from Hope: How Triumphant Leaders Create the Future, Andrew Razeghi, Jossey-Bass/Wiley.
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