As the two spies entered Jericho, they talked with Rahab. She was kind, concerned, honest, yet direct. She was candid about the future of Jericho and painted a picture without hope. She told the spies, "And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain anymore courage in anyone because of you." In other words, Rahab was confirming that there was no hope among the people. An entire city had lost hope and could see no positive outcome. They sat waiting for the end to come. In today's environment, there are many who are stating and living this same scenario. Trouble at every turn, negative news, the plight of social media, the ups and down of an economy, trouble throughout the world provides many with little hope for a positive future, for our children to have a better chance at success than we.
Effective leaders lift the heart of the people. They provide a picture of a bright future where success is determined, not by what you can obtain, but the satisfaction of pursuing and living a purpose toward their destiny. Even in the midst of difficulties, hope is a critical component of adapting and surviving. Individuals of the past who seized control of the masses's thinking and thus, their behavior, failed to instill this spirit of overcoming call hope.
When leaders make it a priority to instill hope in people, three things occur.
#1: People can realize their potential. Instead of focusing on the current issues and their weaknesses, individuals begin to view their strengths, instead of circumstance, as a means for change. They realize that it's not what happens to them but what happens in them that dictates the results.
2: Hope keeps the spirit alive for expectation. To see the future as much brighter than the present creates an expectation for a better day. Rahab, following her unexpected meeting with the two spies, expected a positive outcome due. As the two spies left, her hope was renewed. She expected her family to survive, although she did not really understand what the events would be or how they would happen. However, she maintained a positive attitude and expectation for good.
#3: Hope focuses on the end result, not the present troubles. Leaders keep the vision fresh among the people. They talk about it often and remind those in their command of the purpose, even during tough times. Casting a vision is not a one-time occurrence. It is something the leader is tasked with each day. By doing so, the end is greater than the means. Leaders who are effective at keeping the vision fresh keep hope at the forefront of the people's mind.
If you want to bring your followers to a higher plane, create strategies to instill hope in your followers. Doing so will keep your vision alive and bring those through difficult times.