Perhaps it is the crisis and the absence of it; or the Olympics and the thousands of athletes with it; or simply a projection of my own world, but the word hope keeps popping up.
It's a nice word.
I will even admit that I once named a car Hope...(Hope was subsequently abandoned in some little French village......but let's not go into that).
The thing is I like the idea of hope.
It’s partly why I am a leadership coach: “hope is knowing people, like kites, are made to be lifted up”.
So you can imagine how deflated I felt when listening to Conversations with Avant-Garde Sages1, John Troy in his mesmerising southern US drawl announces ....hope “is the mantra of doubt”.
Challenge my world view...but no, not the one of hope!
His interviewee Brian Adler goes on to say: “basically the only difference between hope and fear is that in hope you think it's going to get better, and in fear you think it's not. But in both cases you're thinking there's a problem with the way it is right now.”
OK, I can experience moments of presence and indeed my last posting was exactly on that. And I can see their point about having unconditional acceptance to what is happening in the now. However, I am by no means there in my spiritual evolution: my attachment to the profoundness and mysteriousness of hope remains.
So I will settle for the equally insightful and possibly more practical thought of Jim Collins, who explored what makes good companies great2.
One thing great companies and leaders do is to embody what Collins calls the Stockdale Paradox: the ability to confront the brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they are... with the unwavering faith that you will prevail.
1. John Troy and Trip Overholt interview with Brian Adler: http://www.thewizardllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Conversations-with-Avant-garde-Sages-eBook-for-iPad1.pdf
2. Collins, J (2001) Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, Random House Business Books, London http://www.jimcollins.com/media_topics/brutal-facts.html#audio=59
The golden daffodil - a symbol of hope: Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.