Vision, Hope, and Leadership

Part of a chapter in my book, Lost & Found


Planning Change

Many groups lack the foresight or level of planning required to take an organization beyond the early stages of development. For some, that’s fine; they may not need to have long-range planning. However, if an organization wants to make a real impact on its little portion of the world (a.k.a. mission and vision statements), they have to get past the initial push of enthusiasm and break out of the limitations implicit in working without a plan. But even with a plan, organizations require far more than goals.

Sometimes this can happen through fortunate circumstances or enormous effort on the part of the whole organization to keep things growing organically. I’ve seen this and it is wondrous and rare turn of events. For the rest, it means either the organization will hobble along, perhaps doing OK and sustaining itself on generous donations of time and effort, or they begin the other natural result, dissolution. This can happen slowly, even imperceptibly, over a long period of time; usually, the money or volunteers or both dry up. The stalwart few hold on to the remnants as long as is humanly possible, but unfortunately this rarely works in the long run.

Hope as an Intangible Asset

Hope is one of those intangible assets that can never be measured, bought, or borrowed. It must be present and sustained by those in the position to provide leadership and vision. Hope is like water; it can easily run through the metaphorical fingers of an organization if it’s not contained with some degree of effort on the part of those whose mission and therefore job it is. Equally unfortunate, for leadership of almost every kind, two common issues arise. One is to take the job too seriously; the other is to take oneself too seriously. For me, this has been truly been a life lesson.

A new nonprofit is being created to assist Native Americans in dealing with the aftermath of integration into American society and cultures, often without any real help from the agencies that supposedly were designed to fill this role. The main problem with any governmental agency is that it becomes a victim of its own ideas of rules and efficiencies and of course, the bureaucracy inherent in their very structure. So this nonprofit will step up to the proverbial plate.

A Leader’s Heart

Though this leader’s heart can sometimes be burdened by doubt, it is never without an unflagging sense of hope. This has been my lesson and gift from my participation in this process. There was a TV episode where one character was warned of false hope. The quick and heated retort was that there is no such thing as false hope; there is only hope or no hope; it can never be anything in between.

Envisioning Hope

May I offer that hope is at the heart of our outlook on life? If we have no hope that things are or will soon be better, we will find ourselves in a downward spiral of depression and ultimately failure. However, by focusing—in the mind’s eye—on what may seem to be a false hope to the more pragmatic of us, especially in those of us in a leadership position, we successfully keep success an illusion. In other words, it truly is folly. Vision keeps the eye focused on the true goal of the mission’s success, but, it’s the recognition that in keeping hope alive and well, our success is assured. That’s as true in business as it is in life.

© 2016

Excerpted from Lost & Found: Finding the Lost “I AM” Within You, Chapter 17, Guidance for Living in the New 5D World

Of Hope and Action

Early writing, circa 1995, not originally titled

(found in a box of old papers and photos, 8/20/2015)

Scott's Cove, MD
Scott’s Cove, MD

Imagine an one-lush green world falling in around its inhabitants, an ecological payback on a grand scale, if you will. Some say that we have already lost the race, that we have raped the land and it cannot be undone. For those of us that believe that the future is something which must be planned for regardless of the present, no matter how apparently bleak and unyielding a picture has been painted, there is hope.

There must always be hope.

Without hope, we might as well crawl under rock and wait to die. The first step the only step, is to develop a long-range plan which encourages big business as well as the individual to do his or her part in following through with a master plan. Given the chance to make a difference, people will make the effort But the vision, the plan, is up to all to contribute to and implement as we are able.

Action is always better than inaction.

Better that we try something now, then wit until all the pieces fall into place and everything is know. As long as we are alive, we will never know everything. It is the delay of action that will invariably spell disaster.

Let’s find a way–and do it!

Traveling – Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer

Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer

by Krista on March 19, 2014

What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?

via Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer | The Daily Post.

A view from a lovely cabin of the open prairie and mountains in the distance.
A view from a lovely cabin of the open prairie and mountains in the distance.

Travelling is not just what I do, it is part of who I am. Born in California, I’ve lived in seven other states plus Germany. Mostly I travel by car, usually alone and largely the only pre-planning I’ll do is have a destination is mind.

Don’t get me wrong…I love maps and I really love having a smart phone with Google Maps on it! So far, I’ve avoid having an actual GPS in my car, partly because I feel like it’s the lazy-man’s way of figuring where you are and how to get somewhere. What really amuses me is to see so many cars on my way to work with a GPS on their dash. In my experience, very few commuters take alternate routes and they do it 4-5 times a week, back and forth, to their jobs.

Sure, it sometimes comes in handy when there’s a road closure, big backup or other non-routine obstacle to avoid. But that’s the exception not the rule. Perhaps these people are just used to having it there or maybe it’s a form of safety blanket, but I suspect that they actually refer to it instead of navigating by the signposts that are both obvious and plentiful in our nation’s capitol.

There was a time, when gas was cheaper and I had fewer things on my proverbial plate (like writing blogs), when I would jump in my car early on a Saturday morning and drive to one of the beaches on the Delaware-Maryland shoreline. I’d spend the day enjoying whatever caught my fancy…if was warm, I’d put on a bathing suit and spend the day at the beach. If wasn’t bathing suit weather, I’d drive around Rehobath or Ocean City, stop for seafood and take pictures.

I used to fly a lot, enough to be a Southwest frequent flyer garnering more than a couple free trips. Now, I’m planning a trip to a family wedding in Arizona with my mom and youngest sister…and that does require advanced planning and coordinating mutual schedules. Luckily, there are many Baltimore flights direct to Phoenix every day and managed to find a good airfare. This may well be one of the most intensive…plan-wise…travel arrangements of my life! Oh, for the freedom to travel at my leisure without plans…that would be heavenly!