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Dealing in Hope

January 9, 2017 — Leave a comment

Napoleon Bonaparte claimed, “A leader is a dealer in hope.”

Hope is a strangely human enigma. It can’t be handled but it can be shared. It can’t create anything on its own but it can pave the way for new accomplishments.

Whether you’re celebrating a new beginning (like the start of a new year), caught up in new adventure or struggling to maintain the status quo, hope plays a key role. Not only must leaders be positive (no one wants to follow a pessimist!), they must deal in hope that can be felt and transferred.

Here are several ways to grow and share your hope.

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I haven’t forgotten one of my first coaching interactions that took place years ago. My client was stuck. She talked about wanting go back to school and make some new contributions with her life. But she couldn’t do it, she explained. What was holding her back? Her husband didn’t fully support her to the extent she needed. I remember thinking, well, why don’t you try it anyways?

I’m not sure if she ended up pursuing school in the years since or if she’s still waiting for that support. Here’s what I do know: having other people in your corner can mean the world – especially the ones closest to you. But unfortunately sometimes the support of others is unavailable. Then what?

It’s a popular belief these days that no one attains success on their own. There is always a supporting cast. In many cases this is true, but fortunately, not in all. If you’re on your own, you can still make it. Here are the top two reasons:

Lonely Journey

 

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You may remember the Mastercard commercials that ran on television several years ago. Each one depicted a family having a wonderful (and expensive) excursion together. The punchline informed us, “there are some things money can’t buy. For everything else there’s Mastercard.” The subliminal message may have been that if you spend enough money, you can buy a priceless experience. Regardless, I thought the ads were brilliant. (Who doesn’t want a priceless experience with people they care about?) But they really begged the bigger question: what exactly are the things that money can’t buy?

Dollar Bill

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I had the privilege of meeting the late Zig Ziglar (1926-2012) a couple years ago at a seminar in Richmond, VA. Zig’s words and ideas have impacted my life probably more than any other thought leader out there. It was truly one of the highlights of my year getting to meet the man who literally wrote the book on success. I realize not everyone has been acquainted with America’s “Master of Motivation,” so six weeks after his passing, I’d like to pay tribute to Zig Ziglar in my first leadership profile of the new year.

Me and Zig

Both Zig Ziglar and I will see you at the top!

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