2015: creating rational hope & eliminating rational ignorance

2015 game time for people

“We have met the enemy and they are us.”

Pogo

==

So.

 

Happy first day of 2015.

 

 

This is about 2015 and what businesses and leaders have to offer people in the upcoming year.

 

Where I begin.

 

I have often referred to businesses as ‘selling hope’ and leaders as ‘dealers in hope.’

That belief hasn’t changed.

 

hope light at end of tunnel
But the environment in which we offer Hope, and how people view <or don’t view> Hope, has changed and is clearly different in 2015.
And we need to recognize it and insure that people not only still have Hope <for something better> but they actually believe in Hope <that it can be better>.

 

 

And that is a big job in 2015.

 

 

But it is a responsibility that must be assumed by someone … and it needs to be leaders and businesses <in what they say and what they sell>

 

Hope is essential for 2015 because it addresses maybe the biggest issue in today world … a skepticism ? … “a waning sense of national cohesion”<Tom Ricks>? … a lack of trust ?

 

Nope.

None of those.

 

 

It is people are losing Hope <or losing sight of Hope>.

 

 

 

And when people lose Hope it comes to life, attitudinally, in skepticism and lack of cohesion and trust issues and … yes … anger.

 

In other words … all outcomes from a ‘don’t fuck with my Hope’ attitude.

 

 

So.

 

Fix Hope and all else will fall in place.
Stated another way … the threat to America <people> is Americans <people’s> hope.
Stated my way … the threat to people is people.

 

I am fairly consistent on a couple of things … the power of Hope … and the power of people <when they elect to assume the responsibility of their power>.

 

I said this in 2013 predictions …. “The people will take matters into their own hands and begin believing in whatever it is that US believes in <just do it, do it myself, whatever you want to call it>.”

 

I still believe it is true.

 

All that said.
The thought for 2015 actually revolves around my favorite topic – Hope.

 

Now.

 

 

Hope is a big sweeping topic.

 

So I will be clear … in 2015 we dealers in hope <business leaders and leaders in general> have a very specific type of Hope we need to be working on.

 

 

Hope in the form of some better version of some stability … let’s call it stability with vision.

 

It doesn’t have to be safe per se … just some solid ground to stand on <with a beautiful view>.
Yup.
Solid ground with a view.

 

2015 horizon

Hope is the eternal value proposition. We all want it. We all feel empty without it. We all value it.

And its value ebbs & flows based on … well … our frame of mind.

 

Uhm.

 

And the frame of mind of people today sucks.

 

 

Oh.

 

Frame of mind?

 

Yup.

 

Because unattainable today can swiftly turn to possibly attainable tomorrow.

 

A grey today shifts to a colorful tomorrow <or at least a hopeful sunset within today>.

 

Our spirits rise and we can see possibilities where once we only saw pragmatic reality.  And when spirits rise the harsh truth of what is becomes a softer truth of what could be.

 

This year’s version of Hope has a slightly different characteristic.

 

Some stability.
Some unmoving consistency.

 

That may sound like an odd idea for Hope because Hope is typically so intangible. Its typically all about some nebulous horizon. Someplace to go <yet to be clearly identified>.

 

In fact.

 

Inherent in Hope is some fragility and unknowns.

 

 

In 2015 part of Hope has to have a strong thread of ‘known.’

 

Ok … attainable hope?
Isn’t that … well … not Hope?

 

 

Well.

It is the 2015 version of it.

 

Most times we only show what could be not the bridge to it. Nor even tell people how to get there. Not even tell people where to stand to be able to see it.

We show Hope.

 

They see it thru their own eyes and envision their own path.

 

 

The 2015 version of Hope needs some help. It has to be visionary and big & expansive and yet needs some grounding.

 

If the leaders and business deal in this kind of Hope … well … there is hope for the world.

 

 

Because people will take over from there.

 

 

I wrote this in 2013 and I believe it today <and some of it has actually begun to happen>:

 

America is better when ideas are held up for debate, but it is worse when some let their blind partisanship drag the country down in an “I may lose, but by God they won’t win” death spiral.

The world will improve not because of more government or less government … in fact the government & taxes & stimulus is irrelevant … it will be because people’s attitudes will change.

They will just believe it should be better and will set out to make it better … regardless of the system they are asked to operate within.

Which leads me to the next … power of the people.

Power of the people

Western countries have the non-humble belief they are constantly teaching everyone else … well … everything. I actually believe western countries will be applying learning from others in 2013. In fact they will learn from the Middle East. We watched the past several years as people in countries began standing up and topping their leadership.

Now.

I believe the West is less focused on the toppling and more focused on the fact people are standing up and speaking out for their beliefs … and getting some traction and action.

Therefore more and more people will be less silent and more active.

This will obviously create some issues because most existing countries populations are not aligned and therefore it could end up being more divisive … but in the end people will become less ‘silent majority’ and more ‘speaking majority.’

It will not all be productive but it will certainly produce some action.

But.

 

 

If it is about people … we need to insure people are engaged. And that is the leaders’ responsibility.

 

 

But 2015 also needs something beyond this rational version of hope.

 

who the hell caresThe people need to overcome a disease called … ‘rational ignorance.’

 

I did not make this term up <although I wish I had>. It is tied to something called “the index of ignorance’ <and actual study>.

 

Basically it says that pretty much all people, everywhere, suck at knowing facts <or truth>. The ‘index of ignorance’ highlights the fact that people’s perceptions are incredibly disassociated from reality

 

Looking across all the questions, Britain actually does relatively well: fifth most accurate out of 14 countries in the “index of ignorance”. Italy is the most wrong, with the US next worst. The most accurate countries are Sweden and Germany – although even here, people are often very wrong.

Yikes.

reality problem

So what’s going on … why are perceptions so far from reality?

 

 

Well.

 

We seem to suffer from what social psychologists call “emotional innumeracy” when thinking about shit.

We confuse what’s worrying us more than even trying to get the right answers.

 

 

Our heads make the cause and effect run both ways … with our concern leading to our mis-perceptions as much as our mis-perceptions creating our concern.

 

 

More harshly …. the index of ignorance  actually measures rational ignorance.

 

 

It suggests people have no reason to inform themselves, with all the costs of time and effort that involves, if they can’t influence anything.

 

Basically we fall back to “what’s the point?” if it doesn’t affect outcomes and decisions remain outside our control. This purposeful ignorance is most likely a reflection of what we see as an overall fatal flaw in the system  <one we do not see we can overcome> … we do not matter.

 

 

But all the smart thinking mumbo jumbo aside … our ignorance is simple … we are lazy.

 

reality and dreams

I say that and come back to my real point … about leaders & leadership … because this type of laziness can actually be solved. This laziness exists because most people just don’t see the benefit of putting the effort in … see some results.

 

 

Now.

 

 

The people don’t need to see results 100% of the time they put in the effort … but let’s say 66+% of the time the people like to see some movement. Some pay off for the effort … just enough to make it worthwhile.

 

<I have a post coming up called “knowledge and working for it” to discuss this point>

 

 

And this is all about Hope.

 

People couch it in inequality or fairness <or lack of fairness> or any words you want to associate with possibilities and opportunity. But all of that stuff is simply Hope. I say that because people can’t discuss hope … they need something more tangible so they ‘drop down’ to some social issue or graph or number they can hold up and point to.

 

 

Trust me on this.

 

 

We solve hope and all the hands will drop down with whatever they are holding.

 

 

Our business and leaders need to make people care more … in harsh words … less lazy. We need to make them want to put in the effort to be less ignorant.

 

 

<I addressed this partially in my 2014 new year’s post:


http://brucemctague.com/a-new-year-and-some-old-thinking >

Which leads me to my only prediction … about who will be making the people care more … a new breed of leaders.

 

 

 

I actually said this in 2013:

The rise of leaders

I do believe it is going to be a great, not good, year for new leaders.

Now.

We may not recognize them as true leaders in 2013 but I envision 2013 as the year our next generation of great leaders will arise from the turmoil.

I believe I will call this new leadership group … the sifters. They will have the ability to sift through the loud voices, the silent voices and their peer’s voices … and decide what is right … and do it <whether it is ‘popular’ or not>.

For example … in the USA it is going to be the ones who stand up and go “we need to raise taxes <on everyone not just the wealthy> and we need to make spending cuts and we need to revamp entitlement programs and we need to regulate businesses until they can prove they can be trustworthy and we need to make government departments accountable … or we eliminate them.”

Basically we will find a new group of young leaders who will explain common sense … even if it is some unpopular common sense … and tell people the truth … and do what needs to be done.

This is going to happen not only in the USA but also France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and a number of other ‘developed countries.’

We may not reap the full benefits of this group for another 5 to 10 years but I believe we will look back on 2013 as the year of the rise of the great leaders.

——–

inspire leadership

I still believe this with one additional aspect … the attainable Hope aspect.

 

This new type of leader will lead with common sense tethered to Hope.

 

 

This new leader will guide us toward the horizon of hope and prosperity.

 

 

In yesterday’s post I was discussing personal responsibility and in my last ‘looking toward 2015’ post I am discussing building ‘lighthouse’ optimism to guide us toward who and what we want to be as a group of people <a nation as it were>.

 

 

We need leaders who recognize the shape of Hope has changed.

 

 

That there is a practicality that Hope needs today that it didn’t need in the past.

 

 

I can honestly say I have struggled with what adjective or descriptor to put in front of my 2015 version of Hope.

Attainable.
Practical or pragmatic.
Rational.

 

 

The best <I thought>?

 

 

 

Common sense tethered to Hope.

 

 

It gives us a strong sense of direction in which to focus. It gives us a name or face to aim at.

 

My anger at the world coils inside of me.

It’s a directionless seething, there’s no name or face to aim at.”

=

The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn

hope this way

The people have a directionless seething anger at the world … and it is up to businesses and leaders to give direction and solve the anger.

 

 

Hope.

 

Hope is always a good direction.

 

Hope solves anger.

 

Hope solves ‘rational ignorance.’

 

In my mind?

 

2015 should be about rebuilding this new version of Hope in people’s minds.

 

 

Well.

 

If I were a leader … that is what I would do.

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Written by Bruce