You Are The Hope

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Glenn Van Ekeren
President, Vetter Health Services

“to get the best out of a man you must look for the best in him”

— Bernard Haldane

Louie DePalma would never earn the Boss of the Year Award.  Louie was the greasy, disliked, irritating overseer of the cabbies on the television series Taxi.

Most of his cabbies had ambitions beyond the Sunshine Cab Company.  But Louie saw them all as eternal cabbies.  He constantly berated their dreams, squashed their aspirations and harassed them to the point of making their job life miserable.

In the episode “Bobby’s Big Break,” aspiring actor Bobby Wheeler is offered the opportunity to be in a soap opera.  He quits his day job, tears up his cab driver’s license and escapes to pursue his dream.

Of course, Louie is enraged (how could anyone leave his magnetic leadership style) and expresses his lack of support by boldly announcing, “He’ll be back. . . they all come back!  The only one who never came back was James Caan. . . and I’m still waitin!”

Unfortunately, Bobby loses the acting gig and does what he doesn’t want to do — asks for his cabbie job back.  Louie gloats and runs around chanting, “Bobby’s a loser. . . a loser. . . a loser.”

Leaders who believe in people invest in people.  They support their hopes and dreams and aspirations.  They understand that getting more out of people depends first and foremost on believing in them and investing in their lives and futures.

Fully engaged people believe they can build a better future than the past and they believe they can directly impact that brighter future. A priority for us as leaders is to reinforce those hopes and beliefs and help to instill the confidence for people to achieve them.

Research is conclusive that people focused leadership is powerful.  Yet, why is it that so many “Louies” are still in leadership roles?  People are not expendable commodities.  They are a rich resource of talent, abilities, ideas and potential.  Any leader who doesn’t get that doesn’t deserve their position.

Most people want to love what they do where they do it.  They want to invest their hearts and minds into what they do every day. But people are hesitant to love something or give wholeheartedly to something that doesn’t support them back.

Show people you have their best interests at heart.  Sincerely care about the present and support their future.  Inject people with your energy, passion and  believing spirit.  People love leaders who believe in their ability and inspire them to fulfill their potential.

You are the hope someone needs!

Questions to Ponder:

  1. Do you know the hopes and dreams of three people you lead?
  2. What one dream can you help and encourage someone to accomplish in the next twelve months?