Napoleon said one of my favorite statements, “A leader is a dealer in hope.” Wow! That’s strong. Now, he’s also the guy who said, “The surest way to remain poor is to be honest.” So he didn’t get everything right. But a dealer in hope…now that’s good.
The truth is, if you’re a leader in any way, shape or form, whether in business or even in family, you have to be just that. By definition hope is, “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.”
The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Therefore, as a leader, it’s your job to make sure your team members have hope. Why is that your responsibility? Well, technically, you don’t have to do it. But then you have a team full of heart-sick people. I don’t know how well they work in your industry, but they would destroy mine!
How do you become a dealer of hope? Here are a few things:
- Show the Positives – With cancer patients, the first thing you do is give hope. Am I saying that you have a team of cancer patients? Not at all. But if hope helps someone in the worst possible situation, perhaps it can help your team. Constantly catch them doing stuff right. Show them how they are changing lives. (Hopefully, you actually know how they are doing that.) Compliment them on their smiles, their joy, their excitement. Ask them what makes them happy about their job.
- Cast Vision – Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” If you do a word study on the word “perish,” more often than not that word has been used to convey the idea of someone being set out in a desert with no water, no food and no possible way to get back to civilization. They wither away and die. You must show your team what is possible, what is planned and what they can expect. If every day they just come in and do the same thing over and over with no excitement about the future, it will get old quickly, and they will lose their hope!
- Believe – You have to believe in your team! And you have to let them know that you do. When someone knows that you have faith in their ability to do their job, it changes the way they see you. I have had more team members tell me that they are loyal to me because I showed them how much I believe in them. In turn, it gives them hope to know that I trust in them to handle our future.
Be someone who constantly shows those who are following what could be. Teach them that what they sow today will reap a bigger harvest tomorrow. As you do that, hope will grow as a natural by-product.