by Rae F. Evans
“A leader is a dealer in hope.”- Napoleon Bonaparte
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Adams
I believe these two quotes sum up perfectly the essential dimensions of leadership and correctly place the emphasis not on the “power of leadership” but rather on the perspective a leader must have and embrace.
The “dealer in hope” concept is a fundamental core philosophy that all good leaders must embrace and that provides the fulcrum for a call to action for those seeking the direction and responsibility required to buy into the game plan, whether in the executive suite, in the halls of congress, or on the field of sport.
If the team believes in the vision of the leader they will move heaven and earth to get the job done. If the vision is muddled or unclear, then confusion and rancor are sure to follow. The old adage that we all sink together or we can sail together is very true and the wise leader knows that and communicates the hope message from day one.
The Adams message is timeless and pushes the concept of “more” to its logical outcome, i.e. that by asking more through your own actions, you inspire others to strive to reach for their full potential. Great leaders never ask more than they themselves are willing to give, and their subordinates sense that shared commitment and are thus more willing to work toward the shared goal. Leaders build teams not stars.
In my experience, the single most essential quality of trusted leaders is first and foremost the ability to LISTEN, really listen, and thereby learn the multiple approaches to solving the problems. The next step is to refine and distill the information into a pathway of HOPE where all feel they have been heard and can therefore invest in a shared vision the leader can articulate because they have been part of the solution.
Those who seek to lead by diminishing others or by appearing to be above the fray always fail….ALWAYS.
We all know almost instantly when we meet a person who has the basic leadership profile. We sense that they offer something worth learning more about, and we are moved to ask more, learn more and to be part of their circle of supporters because we believe they are leading us to higher ground. They INSPIRE and give HOPE and so we follow them toward the shared vision that enriches our spirit.
Rae Evans, Founder and President, Evans Capitol Group
Rae Evans if the founder and president of Evans Capitol Group, which is one of the top woman-owned public policy firms in the nation’s capital. Under her leadership, Evans Capitol Group provides strategic guidance to corporations, non-profits and trade associations seeking to influence a broad range of public policy issues.
Prior to founding her own firm, Rae was Vice President, National Affairs for Hallmark Cards and prior to that served as Director of Government Relations for CBS.
Rae’s achievements have been recognized throughout her career with numerous honors and appointments. She is a past president and board member of the Business-Government Relations Council, was a recipient of the National Women’s Economic Alliance Director’s Choice Award, was appointed to serve on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.
For more than 20 years, Rae has been a leader in creating awareness for important causes supporting women and health. She was selected by the Betty Ford Comprehensive Breast Center Columbia Hospital for Women and the National Women’s Health Resource Center to receive the Breast Cancer Awareness Award, recognizing her efforts in establishing the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s National Race for the Cure. The race broke all national records for attendance and money raised.
Green Door of Washington, DC is a charity of particular important to Rae, and she serves on its board. The program focuses on helping mentally challenged members of the community.
In addition to corporate board positions, for example Brinker International and Haggar Clothing, Rae contributed mightily to women’s professional golf. She served as Chair of the LPGA Board of Directors and also as Chair of Commissioner’s Advisory Board for the LPGA.
Rae is married to David Evans, an attorney at Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay in Washington, D.C. They have two children, David and Kristen.
I asked Rae to be my guest leader and to write her thoughts about leadership simply because she is an outstanding leader herself, which I know firsthand, having served on the LPGA Commissioner’s Advisory Committee she chaired, knowing people who worked for her (note: she would say with her) at Evans Capitol Group, and also because I have seen how unselfish she is at helping young people and others who might benefit from her time, energy, care or whatever assistance she may give.