Define Reality and Give Hope

Define Reality and Give Hope

“A leader’s role is to define reality and then give hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
“The first key to greatness is to be in reality what we appear to be.” – Socrates
“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” – Max DePree

In his book Straight from the Gut (Warner Business Books, 2001), Jack Welch, the former Chairman and CEO of General Electric (1981-2001), outlined six rules for successful leadership. Of the six rules, five involved defining/facing reality. Welch’s six rules were:

  1. Be candid with everyone.
  2. Change before you have to.
  3. Control your destiny or someone else will.
  4. Do not manage, lead.
  5. Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it were.
  6. If you do not have a competitive advantage, do not compete.

According to Jim Collins, author of Good to Great (Harper Collins, 2001), successful leaders “confront the brutal facts of the current reality” and instill faith in their organizations and people that they will prevail regardless of the difficulties. In turn, these leaders define reality and then give hope. Hope is the faith that we can make things better.

How do leaders give hope? They help people believe in the future and themselves. They help people think positively versus negatively. They help people win. Successful leadership is about being a “hope dealer” to people. Successful leaders must always ensure that hope is alive and well within the organization.

All contents copyright © 2012, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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