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Leading through belief: managing the power of hope

Andrew Razeghi (An adjunct associate professor at the Kellogg School of Management, Chicago, Illinois, USA.)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 1 September 2006




Leaders have long understood the importance a belief system has on the productivity of their team. The authors explain how can such an intangible motivational force be addressed and how leaders have the capability to influence a firm's success by inspiring positive beliefs.


Belief management involves recognizing those beliefs that both hinder and promote the advancement of a leader's vision. This includes the leader's beliefs as well as those of the team.


To begin managing beliefs, executives should take three initial steps: identify core belief, ask others what they believe, brand your beliefs.

Research limitations/implications

Dr Gregory Berns, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta mapped the neurological effects of a belief exercise on his test subjects. Through the use of magnetic resonance imaging, Berns could see specific changes in cellular activity.

Practical implications

There's new evidence that a leader's beliefs are the foundations for each team's aspirations.


Leaders must not only tell people what they believe but let them know why they believe. If managed correctly, these beneficial beliefs will spread throughout a company to all its stakeholders.



Razeghi, A. (2006), "Leading through belief: managing the power of hope", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 34 No. 5, pp. 49-51.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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