The Merchants of Hope

Leaders are rare breeds. Many have argued whether leaders are born or made. Truth is, leaders are made and those born to inherit leadership need to be groomed to take their place in the position of leadership.

Many aspire to be leaders but few ever attain it because, to everything there is a price especially to be a leader. If few people attain quality leadership then what happens to the rest? Some watch while others follow but everyone must either lead or submit to a leader. While we all cannot be leaders, we can all aspire to be. How ready are you?

The stock in trade of leaders is hope. They market hope. According to Napoleon Bonaparte, “A leader is a dealer in hope.” They go about looking for the downtrodden, rejects of the society, the indebted and offer them hope. Scientifically it has been proven that you can survive without food for at least 21days and without water for about 10 days but no one can survive a day without hope. A hopeless person is almost destroyed.

Amazingly, everywhere you turn there are people at the verge of giving up. They are waiting and searching for help. You can feel it. You see it. Yet, it takes more than motivations to give someone hope. You can’t take people where you haven’t been.

There are three types of people you will meet; the hopeless and clueless, the hopeful but clueless, the hopeful and purposeful but lacking direction. The journey of leadership is not for the person that has seen it all but for him that can see what others can’t. Neither is it for the insecure because followers must necessarily find safety in the security of the leader.

Leadership is for the strong in heart not weaklings. Then you realize there is a process for the making of the strong. There was a man who once took the courage to raise leaders out of some social misfits. He took on the indebted, the outcasts, and gangsters then began a thorough process of grooming, training and changing their lives for good. He brought them plenty of hope. Changed their perspectives and turned them into a mighty army. He was David Jesse. He did amazing things. During a particular war, one of his army killed eight hundred people with just a hand. There was a time he desperately needed water to drink and voiced it out. Three of the people he raised risked their lives to meet his needs. David gave them hope and they didn’t forget that in a hurry.

Desiring a leadership position is good but can you offer hope in a hopeless situation?  President Obama got into presidency at a very crucial time in the history of America when they were in despair. The economy offered no hope. Iraqi war was at the peak and the threat of terrorism was growing. Just then he offered his audacity of hope works. Great speeches and commensurate actions set America on the path of recovery from economic recession and despondency.

Next time the thought of leading people crosses your mind, ask yourself ‘can I offer hope to my followers?’ this will not be done by mere motivation. You must have embarked on the journey, recovered from your insecurities and be ready to show others the way. These attributes suggest that you’ve been a faithful follower. You have learnt the ropes. You have been through the thick and thin to set out on the voyage of the hopefuls. Leadership is not just in talks but in actions too. Get your seat belt on and cruise to effective followers if you desire to be a merchant of hope. Ride on to greatness through the process that would loose others from their chains. Keep flying!