Story Bias: Stories of Hope


Stories of hope tell of what might be.They may speak of the hope for rescue from dire straits, of someone who will save the people and save the organization from the mess in which it finds itself now.

They may also project hope for positive success, of achieving visionary goals, of fat bonuses or of international acclaim.The hope in the story comes may come out in the wistful tone and expressions of desire more than determination. There is typically a sense of dependency on the leader or on external and uncontrollable forces.


Barack Obama has been out of the White House for only a little more than a year. But it's not too soon for historians to begin to assess the impact of his momentous presidency. As President, Obama never let go of the idea of hope. That was what made him so endearing to millions of Americans and shaped much of what he did in the Oval Office. Obama had clearly articulated his understanding of the nation when he came into the spotlight during the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

In the middle of one of the most contentious moments of the era, when Americans were deeply divided over a President who had taken the nation into a costly war in Iraq based on false claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction, then-Illinois Sen. Obama refused to give in to anger and disillusionment. "Even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. ... But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

Hope was and remains the main pillar of his branding.



Whether the hoped-for end is achieved may well be seen as being out of the hands of the hopers and in the hands of fate. This puts the hoper in a child position, effectively seeking a parent to rescue them.Leaders can use hope stories to show themselves to be in harmony with the hopeful workforce, typically in times of change. The leader may then change the tone and show them the way forward.In organizations, hope stories may originate in Basic Assumption Groups as described by Wilfred Bion, where dependent followers seek a leader who will rescue them.