In times of uncertainty (which seems to be always), people need effective leadership now more than ever. True leaders guide the way with humility, integrity, vision and honesty. They are radically transparent, they accept blame when they fail, and they empower the people entrusted to them to make the decisions that need to be made. They do not deflect, instead, they take responsibility and fix the problem. They follow the principles of excellence.
It is true that some leaders promote fear over hope, but it should not be that way. If you aspire to be a better leader for those in your charge, keep reading.
The successful leaders always look for the good in the work of the teams they lead. Leaders who embrace hope do not seek out issues with employees or peers. They do not waste their time or energy to find things to criticize. When something is off, they ask how they can help. They look for the positive in other people, their work and in all situations. They believe in the best of people and believe the best for the future. They are optimistic. They inspire others to seek what’s true and noble, and they present an inclusive, inspiring vision of the future.
The best leaders live from good values. Some leaders share and act out their emotions for their teams or the entire company to witness, the best leaders learn to manage their emotions. They never lead from a place of anger, envy or resentment but prefer to look to their core values. Exceptional leaders understand that emotions will change, but good values will never change. Leaders who live by their values provide an intentional, consistent, and solid vision and path for those who follow. They create a sense of confidence and trust, even amid the unknown.
The best leaders work to build bridges. Some leaders are incredibly selfish and will do anything to satisfy their own personal agenda. This includes sacrificing relationships and burning bridges. The outcome is an environment of distrust, disloyalty and chaos with high turnover, low morale, and minimal productivity. On the other hand, leaders of hope look to continually build new bridges, maintain relationships, and empower others. They understand that achieving progress, they must nurture and build relationships, showing their employees that they matter.
The best leaders tell the truth in all situations. While some leaders take advantage of chaotic, challenging situations by manipulating the facts to gain an advantage. They manipulate with half-truths, omit important information, or only tell the side of the story that makes them look good. On occasion, they sometimes point out lies that others tell to hide their own. Leaders of hope never take no part in dishonesty in order to mislead people. They stand on the truth, in both good news and bad, by bringing facts into the light. They are not trying to mislead, instead they are transparent when it comes to the important facts. As a result, these kinds of leaders model a hopeful way forward for their teams.
Instead of creating an environment of disharmony and confusion, the best leaders work to inspire hope. Think about the ideas above as you consider how you can responsibly use hope in your leadership strategy. And this will help you thrive.