Our world is full of people who will see the down side of every situation even if there is none to be found. Whether it is the weather, the economy (OK so that one might be valid), ministry opportunities or life situations, many live with a degree of pessimism.
Good leaders, however, cannot live where many others may live for leaders are purveyors of hope. Not out of blind optimism. They are deeply realistic about the situations they face. But they also believe that the mission God has given them can and will be accomplished and they are committed to finding a way to go through, over, under or around barriers and obstacles. They are women and men of resolve.
Hope and vision are deeply connected because vision is not possible without the hope (and resolve) to get there.
Being a purveyor of hope actually starts with the ability to articulate a clear, compelling direction and picture of where a team or organization is going. Optimism without a clear picture of the preferred future will not motivate bright people. They might like the optimism but they will ask what its all about!
It also includes the ability to help staff know what their part in that picture is and to empower them to contribute to the goal. Staff want a piece of the action and a sense of empowerment instead of control and micromanagement. Good leaders are encourages and hold their staff to the same high expectations as they do themselves.
When times are tough, it is leaders who keep hope alive by helping the team figure out how to creatively deal with the challenges they face. Many ministries today are faced with severe financial constraints - or soon will be. Leaders are responsible to give their people the hope that they will find a way through. A large part of that is helping figure out how to manage with less while still keeping every one's eyes on the goal.
Even when hard decisions need to be made, the willingness to make those decisions for the health of the organization is a hopeful sign for staff. Knowing that their leaders are willing to do what is best for the organization (compassionately but proactively) gives staff confidence that the organization will prevail, in spite of the challenges that are faced.
Here is an interesting observation. Being a purveyor of hope does not mean that one is a raving extrovert or necessarily overtly optimistic. It does mean that one has great resolve and that resolve to succeed gives the team or organization confidence that the ministry they give themselves to will prevail and make a difference.