We loaded up the mini-van and took the five kids to San Antonio, Texas for our family vacation this past May. One of our first activities was Aquatica, the SeaWorld water park. We started out at the wave pool and then ventured our way to our first waterslide, Stingray Falls. We were drawn there by the enticing photos and catchy description.
“The park’s signature attraction takes four-seat rafts down twists and turns to an underwater grotto, where you come face-to-fin with stingrays and tropical fish. It’s the only ride of its kind in the world.”
We arrived to see the line starting at the bottom of the stairs. I thought, “Ok, we can do this. Surely this won’t take too long.” After about 15-minutes, we moved about 15 feet. It was hot and there was little shade. I was contemplating turning back, especially when I saw much shorter lines at other waterslides across the park. But, we endured to the end, because we were compelled by hope. The hope of an incredible ride that would take us “face-to-fin” with stingrays. It was the hope of experiencing “the only ride of its kind in the world” as Seaworld promised.
Hope is the feeling of expectation for a certain outcome to happen. The voice and message of leadership is often about giving people hope. This hope is communicated by painting and repainting an image of the future possibility through stories, images, reminders, videos, examples, and conversations. Recently, I have been encouraged by a message of hope from a friend, Chris. In his spare time, Chris has started a non-profit, Wings 4 Water, that raises money to provide clean water worldwide. He has organized a local fundraising event around a wings competition to help solve this problem. Chris is communicating a message of hope to unite people in a fun way to provide for this need.
Hope is a powerful motivator. Hope compels us to continue when we feel overwhelmed or under appreciated. Hope stirs us to think about a new better tomorrow. Hope keeps us working and moving towards desired outcomes. Thus, an important voice of leadership is to communicate the future possibilities in a positive compelling voice. This is not something that happens one time. No, hope must be communicated multiple times, in different ways, using a variety of methods.
Why is hope so important? Without hope, people stop, slow down, or go another direction.
What future hopes do you have that involve other people?
What ways will you impart this hope?