“A leader is a dealer in hope” said Napoleon Bonaparte. To which Winston Churchill added “but he must be an honest broker”. What this reminds us is that leaders need to keep the team’s eye on the prize, and inspire them with hope of winning. When the chips are down and things appear to be impossible, the leader needs to persuade the team that they can still prevail - if they just keep their eyes on the vision, and keep doing what they each personally need to do in order to win. When dealing in hope, we need to remind our people that we all have a part to play in achieving the vision – and that we will prevail if we each play our part.
What is your vision? Is it in writing? Does your team feel passionate about this vision? If they don’t, this is where the work starts. Make sure that the vision is front and centre of every conversation you have with the team – every time you talk about progress or results; every time you address challenges; every time you consider or review your tactics.
Does every member of your team know what they personally need to do in order to move towards the vision? If not, it needs to happen.
What is trending in the right direction? What can you draw attention to that will give the team the sense that they are making progress? What small wins can be celebrated? The key to dealing in hope is giving your team the sense that they are making progress.