I’ve been in an interesting discussion on LinkedIn that led to a small discussion on Hope. The question for the discussion was what would you tell President Obama if you could meet with him for 30 minutes? (For those on LinkedIn, the discussion can be found at the Lead Change Group). One of the posters was a gentleman named Dan Mulhern, the First Genlteman of Michgan. He closed his posting by asking the President to give the people of America hope.
Hope. Something that I sometimes forget about. I tend to think hope is for those that are abdicating control over to fate, serendipity, forces of nature or God. While a lot can be said for action speaking louder than hope, without hope, there is no cause for action. We need hope in our lives.
Well, how do we impart hope to others. First of all, hope must be something we strive for. Something that will make a difference in our lives. If your employees are all starving, the hope of an afternoon ice cream won’t do much for them. However, the hope for a possible raise, new client, expansion, or job security will certainly motivate people in this economy. So the first question you must ask yourself, is what are your people hoping for?
Now… what to do about it. Simple. Look for ways to provide them some reassurance that their hopes can become a reality. Let us take a very prevalent hope in today’s economy. People are hoping that they don’t lose their jobs, or that the company won’t go under. Can you guarantee these won’t happen? Perhaps. But in some cases the answer is no. So what can you do?
Your course of action should be to bring about a change, or put in place some action, that will show people that there is hope. If you are losing business, what are you doing to get more business? Perhaps you can change the way you are marketing. Now may be the BEST time to implement that new marketing strategy you were toying with a few years ago. How about going out and hitting the pavement by making more sales calls?
To bring about hope, all you have to do, is put in a reasonable plan of action, that has a reasonable chance of success, in bringing about the hopes that people have.
There is one thing for certain. If you are not doing anything different to encourage the people in your organization, you will not provide hope.
Do something bold. Do something different.