When cancer survivor and Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong endorsed this new release, it got my attention: “If you want to know what it takes to believe—to hope—when no one else does, read this book.” Lance is a living example of what studies have since proven: hopeful people have a better chance of survival, of living longer, performing better and running more profitable businesses. (Think of the sixty million yellow wristbands sold!)

Hope is not a new idea. Aristotle wrote, “On the first day of life there is nothing to remember and everything to hope.” What makes Razeghi’s book innovative is the methodology he develops for honing “hopeful” leadership skills and applying this strategy to

individuals, teams and organizations. Based on research from neuroscience and behavioral psychology interwoven with stories of extraordinary entrepreneurs, elite athletes, political leaders and pioneering scientists, this book shows how hope can become a way of life.

Contrary to wishful thinking, hope rests on the “Five Stones of Wakefulness.” Hopeful leaders are always keenly aware of:

Self: A hopeful leader knows her strengths and weaknesses, and finds others to fill in the gaps. Leaders lose hope when they try to do everything on their own.

Others: Triumphant leaders don’t lose hope in moments of uncertainty, because they seldom allow themselves to be alone. Leaders’ strengths include the strengths of those who make them better leaders.

Context: Hopeful leaders are “nosy”: they study the situation in detail, then stand back and ask, “What does all this mean?”

Cause: Why do we do what we do? A triumphant leader has a personal and powerful answer to this question and promotes this within his team. Cause breeds hope.

Effect: All leaders think in terms of objectives, but hopeful leaders are also aware of how their objectives ripple out into the world. They think in terms of the effects on everyone involved.

According to Razeghi, hope is the most sustainable form of human motivation—but also the most challenging. It takes courage to be hopeful. When asked why he wrote this book, Razeghi answered:

“I wrote this book in order to help people use their beliefs in positive and practical ways to improve the world in which we live…. Hope never dies. Why? Because hope has the capacity to find alternative routes to a desired future. Hope grants us permission to take measured risks; to recognize and manage fear; and to create a future versus waiting for it to come to us. At its core, hope makes us more human. I wrote this book to help people become more human.”

Hardcover, 248 pages, $27.95; Jossey-Bass, July 2006