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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Hope: A Leadership Strategy

Despite the fact that hope is only four little letters, it is a very big word. The thesaurus lists over 40 synonyms for hope, including aspiration, belief, optimism, rosiness, and sanguineness. Do career development professionals offer hope? Do leaders? Is everyone open to the hope that is offered? The questions continue and the answers may reside in the strategic partnering of leadership and hope. ~ Melanie Reinersman,

Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

FOCUS ON: Generating Hope in Difficult Times

The leader's actions or words may mean the difference between the team hanging on or giving up in a time of hardship, uncertainty and chaos. Sharing hope, perhaps through a smile or word of encouragement, can be the motivation that gets others through the crisis so as to move forward on purpose. For a summary of all the terms associated with hopeful leadership, read this LinkedIn post.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Help Clients Become Antifragile

Learning to cope with change is a place for practitioners to start working with a client. To be antifragile is to learn to use change to become stronger. Assisting clients in developing seven key skills starts with an assessment on a scale of 0-10 of how strong the client feels about their ability to remain calm, avoid mistaken assumptions, look for more opportunities, and more. Then the practitioner and client can determine which key skill to focus on improving right now to become antifragile in a time of change. Read more from Inner Leadership.

GENDER IN THE WORKPLACE: Is One Gender More Hopeful?

Some studies have sought to determine if men or women are more hopeful. A few Pakistani researchers (Hassan Alvi and Haris Mirza, 2018) found that men are more hopeful than women. A Norwegian study looked at gender differences in hope of adolescents (Wikstrom, Lorentzen and Lorentzen, 2018) and other studies looked at the retirement population. Wells (2005) said that most studies did not show gender differences in hope, until each component of hope was examined. What does your research show?


According to Spencer Niles, Hyung Joon Yoon, and Norm Amundson (2010), the purpose of the Hope Action Inventory is to assess the degree of clients' hope-centered career competencies. Sample items include “I am hopeful when I consider my future” and “I am flexible to improve my plan.” With action-oriented hope, the client and counselor understand that self-reflection to develop clarity makes sense and creating a vision of future possibilities has purpose. Read more in a powerpoint presentation from Dr. Niles in 2021.

JOB SEARCHING: Hope is a Partner with Strategy

The common cliché, “Hope is not a strategy” may cause job seekers to dismiss hope altogether. In reality, one is not a substitute for the other, but rather a powerful partner, especially in the face of pervasive challenges such as the global pandemic or economic downturn. Giving effort, passion and effective work, which allows hope to exist, may result in achieving a desired goal, such as a new job. Read more from the Association for Talent Development, ATD.

TOP TEN: Ways to be a Dealer in Hope

Hope is a powerful way of thinking that successful leaders engage in. By recognizing even the small contributions of others or keeping goals narrowly focused, leaders infuse hope. Read more ways to be bold during uncertainty, show endurance and aim for stability through the power of hope.


“A leader is a dealer in hope.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
“Hope is not a strategy.” ~ Unknown

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