The power of hope - Joshua Tree Leadership

The power of hope

ChatGPT was asked by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, “what do the advances of artificial intelligence mean for the human condition?” ChatGPT responded, “[it will] change the way people view their own abilities and skills and alter their sense of self….impact people’s sense of identity and purpose… [and]change the way people form and maintain relationships and impact their sense of community and belonging.” The full understanding of AI’s impacts on the human experience is unknown, but for now, one attribute remains singularly human – hope.

Charles R. Snyder, Ph.D., spent his career at the University of Kansas researching the theory of hope. As a hope researcher, Dr. Snyder defined his model of hope through three variables: Agency, Goals, Pathways (AGP) –

  • Agency (our ability to shape our lives)
  • Goals (objectives we set for ourselves)
  • Pathways (how we obtain our goals)

Hope is an emotion invoking positive feelings about one’s future. Hope is also as finicky. Lacking supportive conditions, it will fail to thrive. Dr. Synder’s model reflects a condition which at first glance is often missed – action. Snyder’s AGP model does not mention action as a variable. One reason may be because it is inherent, and if so, hope is to action, what action is to hope. The late Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D., Research Director at the Don Clifton Institute, and colleague of Dr. Snyder’s described hope as “the belief that things could be better, and that you can make them better.”

How does this knowledge benefit leaders? Hope can be the difference between superior effectiveness and marginal value because of its compounding effect. Leaders who harness its power can inspire teams to achieve exponential results. A leader who directs their teams’ actions, without channeling hope, runs the risk of creating an environment of disengagement and reduced returns. Conversely, a leader who inspires hope without targeted actions jeopardizes team effectiveness and the firm’s long-term strategy.

In the end, what is hope? It is an emotion, and yes, emotions are perishable. However, leadership fieldcraft which incorporates the thoughtful, authentic use of hope to inspire, while thoroughly understanding the hope/action interdependency, can assist leaders in elevating their teams during,“…the best of times, and the worst of times.”

#leadership #UniversityofKansas #artificialintelligence

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