What Does Hope Have to Do with Leadership?
There are many characteristics used to describe strong leaders – decisive, driven, confident, visionary, inclusive, collaborative – the list goes on. But we don’t often see the word hopeful. I think it needs to be near the top. Now before some of you think “oh no, she’s gone all woo woo on us,” let me explain.
Whatever your personal, professional, political or spiritual beliefs may be, one thing many of us can agree on is we are living in divisive and disturbing times. In overthinking the current events making world and national news, I noticed something slightly stronger than the growing knot in the pit of my stomach – hope. I think a lot of you feel it too in the midst of a myriad of other things.
When I look back on some of the greatest leaders of our time, the majority of them faced huge adversity. Each of them harnessed hope to drive positive change in the midst of insurmountable odds. In my experience with the Leadership Oakland audience, I know many of you have that same spark and drive.
My biggest source of hope right now? The dozens of local leaders who will gather in a few weeks to kick off the 28
th Leadership Oakland Cornerstone class. I still can’t put into words the unique experience that awaits this group (if I could, marketing the program would be a whole lot easier). Talented, caring and committed professionals from various backgrounds, generations, races, belief systems and viewpoints will challenge and grow their leadership to make themselves and our region stronger. If past classes are any indication, the spark created by their differences won’t result in an explosion but instead serve as a catalyst for meaningful change. I can’t wait!