Hope is a funny thing. It's one of those intangible assets that's hard to define, but you know it when you feel it. And when things are tough, hope can be a powerful tool. Hope can give us the strength to keep going when we want to give up. It can help us find solutions when we feel stuck. And it can give us the courage to take risks and seize opportunities. In difficult times, hope is precious capital. Employees who feel hopeful and optimistic are more creative, agile, and resilient. They're better able to adapt to change and overcome challenges.
When things are tough, it can be tempting to give up hope. After all, what’s the point of hoping for something when the odds seem stacked against you? Leading with hope can be challenging at the best of times, but during an economic downturn it can feel downright impossible. Hope feels like a luxury when people are losing their jobs and struggling to make ends meet. But hope is precisely what we need during tough times like these. Hope is not a denial of reality. It’s not blindly optimistic or unrealistic. Rather, it’s the belief that even in the darkest of times, there is a chance for light and happiness. It’s the strength to keep going even when everything seems hopeless. And it’s an essential part of leading effectively. As Nelson Mandela said, “Let your hopes, not your fears, shape how you lead.” In other words, don’t let the difficult realities of a situation cause you to lose sight of what you are fighting for.
Gallup Organization studied the fears, concerns, and confidence of citizens from across the world through many of the biggest crises of the past 80 years — including the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, and World War II, Kennedy's assassination, civil unrest in the 1960s, 9/11, the 2008 financial crash, and now, the COVID-19 pandemic. They found people’s level of confidence generally decreases during times of crisis. This is understandable, as when the world is in turmoil, it can be hard to feel like anything is certain. However, Gallup’s studies have also shown that there are some people who maintain their confidence despite the chaos around them. These “Bold Thinkers” are able to see opportunity where others see only obstacles. They are not afraid to take risks, and they are confident in their ability to overcome challenges.
It's easy to feel like things will never get better when the present is so tough, but it's important to remember that hardships are only temporary. Things will eventually improve, and in the meantime, we need to do our best to lead with hope. Hope is a powerful thing - it can inspire people to keep going even when things are tough. So let's all try to be a little bit more hopeful, even in these challenging times. Who knows? Maybe our positive attitude will help turn things around sooner than we think.
By Dean Miles
Keywords: Business Continuity, Entrepreneurship, Mental Health