Hope is not leadership

If you run a startup you are familiar with the language of hope. You sell it to investors, you pitch it to your team, you whisper it to yourself at night to help you sleep when things aren’t going very well. 

Hope is a powerful. It can help you generate a lot of interest in what you’re creating. 

But hope is not leadership. 

Hiring someone and hoping they will do a great job is not the same as supporting them to do a great job. It’s not the same as inspiring them and getting the best work out of them. 

Starting a project and hoping it will get completed on time and with excellence isn’t the same as planning it well, giving it the resources it needs, indetifying the pitfalls and blocks and moving them out of the way. 

Hoping you’ll get enough sleep, or that work will ease up, or that your relationship will get better is not the same as creating time to rest and recover, getting clear on what you should and shouldn’t be doing, and being really present with the people you love. 

Hope is a powerful companion to leadership but you, your team, your company, your investors, your dreams, and your vision need more than hope. They need you to be a leader in a world where it’s much easier to act like a leader than actually show up as one.