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Current Issue In Print Leadership The Essentials

Does Hope Play a Role in Leadership?


Have you ever wondered why some people or groups of people accomplish such incredible things while others never rise above the ordinary? One word I never see mentioned to describe a leader is the word hope — but it may be one of the most powerful assets of all.

In the book “Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities” by Paul Stoltz, he talks about how individuals react to climbing a very challenging mountain. 

The first group he calls the Quitters. The adversity associated with the climb is so much greater than the hope they feel they can succeed. So, they simply quit.

The next group is the Campers. They start the climb but reach a point where they feel they’ve done well enough. They can handle a moderate amount of adversity. They have a moderate amount of hope. So, they stop.

The Climbers are the ones — no matter what the adversity — who keep on going. They will reach the top. The amazing thing about them is the worse things become, the more hope they have. They believe they will make it to the top, and they do. 

The way I see it is leaders are the ones who inspire by their actions. Their words are powerful, but only because their words are backed by great action. The worse things become, the more hope they have. Talk about oxymoronic.  

Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t,” asks the question, “Do businesses succeed because of luck?” 

The answer is yes. They succeed because of both good luck and bad luck. Great leaders look at luck as opportunities. They succeed because the mindset is, “What can we learn? How can we turn a disappointment into an opportunity?” Then they act.

And because of their ability to deal with adversity and because of this powerful thing called hope, they inspire others to accomplish what no one previously may have thought possible. 

Yes, these are the times it takes a lot of hope. 

Joe Cirulli

Joe Cirulli is the founder and owner of Gainesville Health & Fitness Centers

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