There is Always Hope
Great Leadership Lessons, Note 31

So...at the end of his book, How the Mighty Fall, after he has walked us through the five stages of decline, with the final one being death or capitulation, instead of ending on this EXTREME down point, Collins completely surprises us. His final chapter is Well Founded Hope!

Here is what Collins offers. As Stage Four is working its damage and before Stage Five Capitulation or Death is entered, Collins says there is another option. Hope is possible. But it is not a naive hope. It is not a "hail Mary pass" kind of hope. It must be a well founded hope.

In other words, it must be a hope that sees the crisis for what it is, and then, with a sense of great urgency, begins the long, slow ascent back to greatness. In this case, you don't move from good to great. You are moving from mediocre or even terrible, first to goodness and then to greatness. But you CAN MAKE THE MOVE.

Here are two thoughts... practical thoughts... hope-founded thoughts.

"If you've fallen into decline, get back to solid management disciplines - now!"

"The signature of the truly great verseus the merely successful is not the absence of difficulty, but the ability to come back from setbacks, even cataclysmic catastrophers, stronger than before... As long as you never get entirely knocked out of the game, there remains always hope."

So, if your team, your organization, your classroom, your department, your church or your ministry is in decline... there is hope. But it is a hope that must be founded on profound awareness of what has gone wrong, high intentionality about the hard work that lies ahead, the wisest, disciplined strategic efforts that are needed, and the deep surrender to stay the course.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International