Lead in the company with hope

When the leader makes hope his logbook

Hope is the echo that resonates in the hearts of those of us who, after celebrating the Christmas season, enter that liturgical time called “Ordinary”. Hope is the driving force of thousands of men and women who every day undertake the beautiful task of working for a new earth and a new heaven (Rev 21:1).

The current context that we live in is, for Christian businessmen and managers, a call to put all our creativity into play in favor of a peaceful and pacifying, reconciled, and reconciling company, facilitator of integral development, of a development that reaches the entire society person and all people, as Paul VI suggested to us in his encyclical Populorum progressio.

Pope Francis, in his message to the participants in the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26), invited a transformative hope that requires courage and will in favor of a model of integral development:

“As after the Second World War, today it is necessary for the entire international community to give priority to the implementation of collegiate, supportive, and broad-minded actions.

We need hope and courage. Humanity has the means to face this transformation, which requires a true conversion, both individual and community, and a determined will to undertake this path. This is a transition towards a more comprehensive and integrative development model, based on solidarity and responsibility; a transition in which we must also take into account the effects it will have on the world of work.”

But what is leading with hope? In short, it is nothing more than being a leader in the most authentic and profound sense of the word. Leading is guiding, driving, guiding… It entails getting involved and getting complicated, being part of the reference group and being considered by that group. The authentic leader is one by recognition of his moral authority (“auctoritas”) and not by imposition of his legal power (“potestas”). In other words, the authentic leader is for the group, with the group and in the group. That is why being a leader inevitably implies creating and transmitting opportunities for hope.

Three sources can help us make hopeful leadership visible:

  • The Bible. The Word of God is, in itself, a reason for hope. Jesus invites us to be leaders in his style, being salt and light: “You are the salt of the earth (…) You are the light of the world” (Mt 5, 13-16)
  • The Social Doctrine of the Church. Leading with hope is nothing more than leading from it, it is nothing more than being instruments and promoters of actions marked by the principles of the common good, solidarity, subsidiarity, participation and the universal destiny of goods.
  • The experience. Hope is nothing more than a look at the future, in the here and now, but from experience. And experience is nothing more than the teaching of the past, the discovery of the message behind the successes and errors. That is why the important thing about a resume is what is not written on paper, but in the history and in the perspective of the person who presents it. That is why personnel selection is so complex.

In short, leadership is either with hope or it is not leadership.

Dionisio Blasco España is Territorial Delegate in the Diocese of Malaga and member of the Executive Committee of Business Social Action