The Role of Hope in Leadership. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 1909575
  • November 2008
  • 164 Pages
  • VDM Publishing House
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John W. Gardner’s statement, “The first and last task
of a leader is to keep hope alive,” contains two
assumptions: (a) leaders are somehow responsible for
the hope of other people, and (b) leaders are capable
of keeping hope alive or allowing it to die. If
true, in what way and to what extent are leaders
responsible for the hope of others? Three leaders of
nonprofit organizations were studied to understand
how hope functions in the performance of leadership
under challenging circumstances. Eight themes
emerged: (a) values, (b) education, (c)
justice/social justice, (d) fear/faith/courage, (e)
authenticity, (f) mission, (g) social capital, and
(h) leadership. Real hope in leadership functions as
integrity, sacrifice, and courage and is manifested
in concrete actions. Hope is experienced in the
shared pain and suffering, as well as the love and
joy, found in community. Ultimately, leadership and
hope are not things; they are relationships. Hope is
kept alive through caring
relationships. One leader said it best, “It can’t
just be in me. I’m too little. You know—hope is
already there [in community]. It’s in
the connection that hope is kept alive.”

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Deborah, Gohrke.
earned her B.S. and her M.S from City University and Pepperdine
University respectively. She obtained her Ed.D in Educational
Leadership from Seattle
University. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of a
large nonprofit and is an
adjunct professor for Seattle University’s Executive Masters in
Nonprofit Leadership

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