This is the second post on Nancy Ortberg’s new book on leadership, “Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands.” Ortberg posits the thesis that hope is the core of leadership. She writes, “Few leaders I know have taken seriously the power of hope and done whatever they can to infuse it into their people. I’m not talking about mindless, inauthentic, cheer-leading hope. Real hope is a potent force and when it sits at the center of things it becomes an epicenter. “
As I reflect upon Ortberg’s words, Bill Hybels’ voice echoes in the background. I remember hearing him speak at the very first Leadership Summit in the mid ’90’s. He stated two things at that Summit that have been imprinted upon my mind and heart:
- the Church is the hope of the world
- the Church is the most leadership extension organization in the world
(BTW: I am looking forward to getting recalibrated at this year’s Leadership Summit which will take place on Thursday and Friday).
The heart of this post is our need as leaders to stay connected to hope. Ortberg writes:
“It is critical for leaders to do whatever they can to stay connected to hope and to drink deeply from its well. We need to find new ways to live that renew the life of God in us because the life of God is a life of hope – a meal that sustains.”
How do you stay connected to hope? Here are a few of the things I try to do on a regular basis:
- listen to life-giving, hopeful music (for example right now I am listening to Jars of Clay new EP, “Closer” and Third Day’s, “Call My Name”)
- spend time with hopeful people
- exposing myself to new ideas or old ideas recast in new ways from fresh voices
- taking the time, place and space to think and dream and imagine
- leveraging my gifts and seeing the difference it can make
- pray the Morning Office
What are some of the things you do to stay connected to hope? What practices, rhythms, or relationships nourish you and invite you to drink deeply from the well of hope?