What do Spring and Vaccines have in Common?

Recently, I have noticed a bit of a spring in my step (pun intended).

Here in Raleigh, NC, the weather has started to warm up and the daffodils are blooming – the first sign I always notice that we’re on the cusp of spring.

At the same time, more and more states are opening up wider vaccine distribution groups. The thought of getting a vaccine soon, of a reduction in the worry and confinement getting nearer and nearer has got me energized and more motivated.

Can you feel it too? That buzz in the air?

It’s hope!

Hope is an integral part of motivation and engagement. We need hope in our lives to keep us moving forward and looking ahead.

This is the same thing our employees need from their leaders. They need us to create an optimistic picture of the future.

Between 2005 and 2008 Gallup studied over 10,000 followers – and 4 follower needs emerged: Trust, Stability, Compassion, and Hope. Many people have talked about the importance of trust and stability in times of change and uncertainty like the pandemic has brought, and even the necessity of being compassionate while leading through COVID – but I don’t feel like there has been nearly enough emphasis on instilling hope. What are you doing to provide a sense of direction, faith, and guidance in your organizations (or families if you’re leading through parenthood)?

It is difficult to predict the future and forecast what’s next with COVID. Focus on what you know and what you can see and paint the best picture you can with as much information as you can. Then keep painting it and filling in the lines as you get more information. Another way to foster hope is to talk about it. For example, ask employees, friends, and family, “as things are shifting, what are you most excited about? What makes you optimistic?” Finally, communicate what you believe the team can accomplish in the coming weeks and month and why it is possible.

Gallup recently conducted a study of their follower needs during COVID, and here’s their updated findings:


If you’re interested in learning more about follower needs and meeting them through conscious leadership, check out the book Strengths-based Leadership by Tom Rath.

In the meantime, consider how you can convey hope and make it a priority. Feel the buzz.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu

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