Discipled Leaders Don’t Lose Hope

March 2, 2018

The phone rang.  I stared at it with anxious anticipation. The call I’d been waiting for would reveal my future with the company. I’d been through a series of evaluations and interviews to keep my current job.  As my heart began racing and sweat beads formed on my brow, I answered the phone.

“Hello, this is Preston.”

“Hi. This is Ted. I’m calling to let you know…”

If you’ve ever worked in a corporate environment, you may have received a similar call.  And, you’ve experienced the effects of organizational change – uncertainty, layoffs, or downgraded compensation. I’ve been through 10 restructures in my career.  I liken the process to running for Congress – every two years you’re up for re-election, and if you’re elected, you begin your next campaign immediately.

The topsy-turvy corporate world can be exasperating and disheartening.  It can bring one to utter despair. The challenge is to remain hopeful. You might say, “But Preston, I hear all the time that hope isn’t a strategy.” If hope isn’t a strategy, what is it?

Hope is the general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled, a promise will be kept, or a better future is on the horizon. Hope provides internal energy, motivation, and courage. I’ve heard it said that someone can live 40 days without food, four days without water, four minutes without air and only 4 seconds without hope.[1] Why is hope such a crucial part of life and your well-being? It energizes and inspires you to keep going.  Without hope, you will begin to think circumstances will only get worse and give up.

How does someone remain hopeful in the midst of challenging events?

Back to my story… I picked up the phone and said, “Hello, this is Preston.”

“Hi. This is Ted. I’m calling to let you know you will be retained by the company.”

I’ve gone through the cycle of uncertainty to certainty many times.  As you may recall, I wrote earlier that I’ve been through 10 organization restructures.  As I write this article, I’m currently in the midst of my 11th org change.  Once again, I’m struggling with all of the self-doubt and uncertainty that comes with the unsettling circumstance.  I don’t know what’s going to happen. I do know that God is faithful and I’ve placed my hope in him. Whatever does happen, I know that he is good and will lead me to where he wants me.

My friend, when faced with a dire circumstance, my charge to you is to pray, not lose heart, manage self-talk, keep a long-term perspective, face reality and take responsibility and plan, act and persevere.  If you do, you’ll be filled with hope and succeed in whatever path you choose.

How about you?  Where do you place your hope?  How do you make it through tough times? I’d love to hear your story.  Thanks for reading and please share this message with someone in need of hope and encouragement.

[1] Maxwell, John C., Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn, Center Street, Hachette Book Group USA Day One 2013, p. 93.

 

 

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