Your outlook is more important than the prognosis.
Gary, executive for a major food distributor in Calgary, told Session 4B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"On the wall in my study is a huge handmade get well card about 3' wide and 2' high. It is a symbol of hope, much like the Statue of Liberty was to the 12 million-plus immigrants who came by ship to this country between 1892 and 1954, and landed on Ellis Island.
About four years ago, I was sitting in a Deaconess Hospital bed in Spokane, Washington filling out papers granting permission to have a second, more aggressive round of chemotherapy. I had just learned that the first round had failed to put the leukemia in my system in remission. As I filled out the papers, everything I read kept referring to my illness as a fatal disease. It would have been easy to fall into a depression of self -pity and despair. The get-well card on my study wall mentions hope 67 times, as did the hundreds of get well support cards I received from friends, family, customers and associates. These cards and letters provided me with a daily reminder that there was hope, and that I had hope. They helped give me the strength of hope; without hope, nothing is possible.
Since I am standing here today in complete remission, it's obvious that with the help of hope, I won the biggest fight of my life. Occasionally, when things are not going as well as they could be, I will spend a few minutes in my study remembering the important lesson I learned during that time, which was that hope and a positive attitude are two of the most powerful forces in the world.
Turbo Leadership Systems© is also a
symbol of hope that provides a proven process combined with the power of a positive environment. The action I call you to take is embrace this leadership development team building program and everything it has to teach us. The benefit we will gain is our efforts will be aligned and we will become a world-class company."
Your team is looking to you for hope. We are in the midst of the worst recession since 1981. Many of your employees have never experienced this kind of turndown, and those who have have long since forgotten it. People are scared. Your job as an empowering leader is to demonstrate hope, to show confidence in a way that is credible. How do you do this? You point out your teams' past successes, demonstrate your belief in America and our traditions. Tell stories of times in the past when the team was challenged, met the challenge, and won. Don't underestimate the importance of this part of your job. This may be the most important assignment of your management career. Show your team hope and you will not only succeed through this time, you will be able to look back with pride at the part you played in helping your team live from faith instead of fear.