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What Leaders are Learning

Leaders Believe and Are Resolute

Leaders Believe and Are Resolute

Leadership Spokane is committed to the truism that leaders always learn. This holiday season, I am reminded more than ever the importance of leaders taking the New Year on, believing in their followers and being resolute in achieving their goals. “Hope” is the calling card of effective leaders and belief and conviction are the two primary ingredients to hope.
At the Spokane Civic Theater this December, the famous production Miracle on 34th Street played to welcome in the holidays with the famous court case against Kris Kringle. Fred Gailey, a young lawyer, wittingly proved the existence of Santa Claus in this holiday classic. His famous quote resonates today: “Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don’t you see? It’s not just Kris that’s on trial, it’s everything he stands for. It’s kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.” Fred’s relentless campaign to inspire believers of all those intangibles was adopted by Macy’s Department Store a few years back and their “Believe” slogan is still promoted throughout the holidays. While the Santa theme is in the background of this commercial marketing campaign, the “Believe” campaign really suggests a belief in each other. Leaders rally their followers by first having them believe in the main effort.
Once moving forward, leaders maintain momentum by being resolute in their actions. Every New Year, we make resolutions but for the most part, these promises don’t typically pan out. Leaders, however, need to buck the trend and be resolute in their accomplishments. I remain in awe of our King Cole award winner from last year, Dr. Elson Floyd, former WSU President. Today it seems commonplace to have a WSU medical school, but five years ago it seemed to be a moonshot. Even the Washington laws had to be changed to allow a second medical school in the state. Dr. Floyd put the whole effort in his rucksack, and even stricken with cancer, he willed the effort forward. To say he was resolute in his goals is an understatement. Every holiday season is a good reminder of the importance in believing in each other and being strong in convictions. When used together, anything can be accomplished.
Looking back on 2017, I acknowledge that leaders, to be successful, do not have to pull off the majesty that WSU did. The top sport story in 2017 by ESPN was not a sport story even but an act of hope. It was the wave – when the University of Iowa football players wave to the children’s hospital after the first quarter. The hope generated from that simple act has generated enormous goodwill that has spilled out to our entire nation.
One leader in particular reminded me that simple can be effective, too. Jacob Atkins, a biology major, coincidentally at the University of Iowa, made it a point to start tweeting positive news daily. The viral effect it had on the Twitter community was papable. Said Jacob: “I hope people take away that there is always some good even if it’s hard to see.” Jacob believes in humanity and he is determined to make a difference. The good news – he did. Jacob is a leader. As 2018 approaches, leadership starts with belief and real resolution. Let us make it so.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt