“Some people can’t believe in themselves until someone else believes in them first.”
– Sean Maguire,Good Will Hunting
While leading with L.E.S.S. and specifically in serving others, we must remind ourselves there are moments when it is not always about getting better, sometimes it is about retaining hope. Many times, people do not need another supervisor, they need someone to stand alongside them and help them remember their purpose. There are many moments in a school year that can be tough. Motivation can wane, frustrations from working with students can be intense, and the pressures of pushing kids to succeed can be overwhelming.
Our conversations with those we serve many times need to take on the emotional side of their well being and keep them hopeful that they can achieve success. Our daily conversations do not need always need to be focused on a logical path for improvement; the conversations must address the need of having hope in the work we are striving to accomplish. Those we serve (teachers and students) often know they need to put in more effort; they often know they are not focusing like they need to. Yet, when frustrations arise and the work becomes overwhelming people can struggle to see a reason to continue. They can lose hope. Instead of trying to help people by applying logic to the situation, service requires that we emotionally support people first. Before they need logic and a plan, they need hope.
Hope gives us the courage to make hard decisions
Hope sustains us in living a positive life and having a positive attitude
Hope produces endurance for the big and small tasks ahead of us
Hope keeps us focused on doing the hard work in front of us daily
Hope tells us that even on the worst days, each person is capable of a better tomorrow
While striving to get better is vital to our success, and equipping others with the tools they need to achieve is paramount in our role as leaders, we cannot lose sight of emotionally supporting those we serve. Sometimes it is not about getting better; it is about retaining hope.
I challenge you to make a conscious effort to build hope when you are working with those you serve. Whether your role focuses on the support of teachers or students, your most important role is to keep hope alive. Bringing and maintaining hope is the life blood of servant leadership.