Faith, Hope and Charity in Leadership

Faith, hope and charity are words that we generally don’t hear in organizations or in the context of leadership. Yet they are words that describe some essential qualities in the best leaders. When the concepts are embraced and modeled by a leader, they can catalyze performance in the workplace and community. So let’s all have the courage to speak these words during this beautiful season and more importantly, model their concepts:

  • Faith: Trust that your followers are fully whole and capable of doing the right things. Stretch them and let them know (yes, say it out loud!) that you completely believe that the potential you see in them will shine through to help them and the organization realize success. Promise to coach them should they run into trouble, but this is a light approach. It doesn’t mean giving them all the answers, but it does mean asking them the right questions to help them discover success in the way that works best for them. Faith means letting go of controlling how they complete their work and allowing them to develop in the process.
  • Hope: People are hungry for hope in these tough times. Inspire others with your vision; give them something to aspire to. Articulate, craft and be perfectly clear about what the future looks like for your organization. Find trusted advisors to help you to gain clarity of vision and communicate it in many venues and in as many ways as possible. When followers grasp the vision, they will have hope. When they have hope, they are better able to follow the path to the vision.
  • Charity: Give generously of your time. Find ways to make listening to others a priority. Include them in your decisions. Honor them for the work they do on behalf of your organization. Ask them how you might better serve them.  After all, what is leadership without followers? Being charitable with your time and encouragement gives back to those who support the work of your organization or community.

Leaders, extend a hand beyond your organization to further the virtues above. Feed the hungry, visit someone in need, or just listen to those who are lonely and in need of telling their story. These activities help you to stay grounded and humble. Be grateful for the gifts in your life and work, and may peace be with you in this season and throughout the New Year.

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Mary Jo Asmus is the founder and President of Aspire Collaborative Services LLC, an executive coach, writer, internationally recognized thought leader, and a consultant who partners with organizations of all kinds to develop and administer coaching programs. She has “walked in your shoes” as a former leader in a Fortune company.

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