As leaders and as human beings, we all have been guilty of verbalizing our hope regarding certain situations in our lives. We say things like: I hope you get to feeling better; I hope she gets the job; I hope they work out their problems; I hope you pass the course; I hope they like my presentation; I hope they like me, and I hope we can afford to buy that house, car, etc. As pastor/leaders we say things like: I hope somebody gets saved; I hope my sermon touches somebody, and I hope my church grows. Hope. It’s a wonderful quality for a leader to possess. But please allow me to give you a sobering reality check: Hope is not a STATEGY! Hope is an EMOTION! And effective leaders do not lead people by emotion. They lead by properly assessing the situation and developing and implementing the correct strategy.
When Marianne and I were raising our four children, we “hoped” they would all go to college. However, we realized that hope alone wasn’t good enough. So, we developed a strategy. Surprisingly, it wasn’t complicated or complex. In fact, it was very simple. Our whole strategy was that any time education, college, or careers were being discussed; we did not say “if” you go to college. We substituted the words “where” and “when” for “if.” So, all their formative years they received a steady drumbeat of positive reinforcement from us. Consequently, today we have four degreed children. Granted, some of them took the scenic route reaching their destination, but hey, they got there and that’s all that matters!
Guys, regardless of what God is leading you to do in your particular realm of leadership and influence, remember, hope is not a strategy!