In late 1997, I was asked to lead a discussion group of senior executives around the theme of a leadership book titled, Hope is Not a Method. The book was written by former Army Chief of Staff, Gordan Sullivan and chronicled his leadership journey as he faced the challenge of remaking the United States Army in the early 1990s.
As you would expect, the book was very well written and full of strategic insights that would prove valuable for any leader, but, what caught me off-guard that day was the group’s literal interpretation of the title. Unanimously, the 25 leaders in the room referenced the title, Hope is Not a Method, metaphorically to demonstrate a sign of weakness. And while we all agreed that the strength of a leader emerges with his ability to create a sense of certainty during challenging and unpredictable times, I was the lone individual who actually admitted that hope was the prelude to sound strategy.
Gallup senior scientist and University of Kansasprofessor, Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D, is the world’s leading researcher on hope and in his latest book, Making Hope Happen, he distills the science of hope to four core beliefs, and it starts with knowing that the future will be better than the present.