Hope

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“Hope is not a strategy.”

–  The title of a book by Rick Page that I first read in about 2002…

…and it’s been the title of a dozen or more books and / or articles since then.  Actually, even before then.

As a guy that Buckingham says is long on strategy, I have to agree with the statement — as long as we’re contemplating it in the very narrowest of settings.  In a negotiation, in a budget, in a business plan, hope is not a strategy.

It is, however, a real thing.

And it’s a thing worth having.

About a year ago, the world was (as Starky, my maternal grandfather would have said) “Going to hell in a handbasket.”  COVID, quarantines, panic, work-from-home mandates, layoffs, closures, reactions, over-reactions, resistance, and you-name-it-whatever-else-is-highest-in-suckitude were splashed across headlines and dominating feeds across the globe.  Without hope, what would we have done?

Almost twenty years ago, New York City was under siege, the Pentagon, and save for the bravery of a few private citizens the White House or The US Capitol would have been in flames.  Helplessness, overwhelming loss, anger, vengeance, and fear gripped our nation like a vise.  Without hope, what would we have done?

A little over 2000 years ago, give or take, things were falling apart in a garden just outside of Jerusalem.  Things in Rome were influencing a movement to squelch a voice that was creating a stir among the people of the world.  One could argue that Thursday night and Friday all those centuries ago was about as dark a time as the world might ever face.  Without hope, what would we have done?

So today, when a deal goes squirrely, while hope might not be a strategy, it certainly is a real thing.  When a relationship goes bad, hope is a fairly decent component of “Plan B.”  When the money seems short or the meeting goes south or the boss seems particularly dopey, hope is, and always will be worth having.

Unless we’re willing to give up.

Presuming we’re not willing to give up, let’s lean in to hope.  Let’s lean in to hope that is based on something worth believing in.

Hope without a reason is a fool’s game.  “Blind” hope tends to be a last resort.  The kind of hope I’m suggesting is well-documented and lays a pretty good foundation under whatever strategy we might build — in business, in relationships, in life.

Friday’s DD was first written 17 years ago, and will be repeated for the 17th time this Friday.  This Good Friday.  Because no matter how rotten things looked on that Thursday night and into that Friday, something amazingly good was about to happen.  In that series of events lies the reason to hope.

Over the next few days, let’s find it.  Let’s find hope.  It’s a real thing.  And it’s a thing worth having.


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