Leadership Transformation Step 2: Hope

Key Axiom: Come to believe that correct leadership principles and truths can transform you and your organization to greatness.

Action Steps to Hope:

  1. Read inspiring and well written books and articles on leadership and development
  2. Ponder and meditate on the principles taught
  3. Believe in the power of principles and truth and become willing to put them into practice
  4. Look for evidence of principles and truths correctly applied in the lives of others (i.e. become more aware)

With sincere humility replacing pride and vulnerable honesty opening up your heart to be taught, you are now ready to move to the next step in your leadership transformation.  When we finally recognize our weaknesses and accept them, there usually is a natural feeling of hopelessness.  For many who have not been trained on fundamental principles of leadership, there often doesn’t seem to be a clear next step.  That is the power of correct principles and truth.  Once you come to understand them, you can begin to frame decision and actions through their lens.

Principles have always guided us.  Think of universal truths of honesty, integrity, love, patience, and faith for example.  When faced with a decision such as, “should I steal the candy bar or not?”, you can apply the principle of honesty and know the decision you should make.  The late Stephen R. Covey has said that there are three constants in life: change, choice and principles.  I agree with him.  Everything really starts with a choice.  To become an axiom leader, it starts with a choice to live by a set of principles.  The question then becomes what principles to live by.  Once you have identified the principles to live by, and come to understand them (becoming what is called a man or woman of understanding) you then make the necessary changes to align your life in accordance with those principles.  Once the alignment is completed, you have transformed away from an old self, to a new one.  It’s a powerful process; one that begins with a choice.

I mentioned in my very first blog post about the principles taught by my father and then learned and reinforced through experience in my life and career.  I will share principles and truths that I have found, but I’m sure you will come to experience your own discovery of principles.  That learning and experience is part of growth.  I will share what I have learned as a way for you to learn through another and can possibly be applied to your own situation.  That helps to create hope.

What I have found is when you find a principle or truth that you can believe in, you then start to stoke the embers of hope.  That hope is the motivation that drives you forward.  Then as you apply principles and have experienced the resulting success, you start to have belief and your hope in the principles has moved to faith.  You then stop putting so much faith in yourself to figure out all the answers on your own, but begin to trust in the application of correct principles.  You begin to see your choices more honestly and clearly and will make decisions in harmony with correct principles.

To summarize where we are at the in the transformation process, we have

  1. Become willing to change
  2. Let go of our pride and are seeking to humbly learn
  3. Become aware of our weakness through vulnerable honesty and sought help
  4. Searched for correct leadership principles and truths
  5. Pondered and mediated on those principles and truths
  6. Exercised belief in the principles evidenced by putting them into practice
  7. Become aware of the principles being applied successfully by others

As you become more aware and “see” the principles operating successfully your hope then increases that they will work for you and your organization.  This hope becomes stronger and stronger until it turns into something more powerful to help not only inspire you, but inspire others to follow you.  It turns to Trust.  Trust is the anchor for you to continue forward.  I will discuss that principle in more detail in my next post.

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