With over 30 years of experience in executive leadership development and education, Greg Zlevor is a leader of leaders, encouraging people to step into their power and be the change. His organization, HopeMakers Collective, is a community that brings people together and inspires change even when difficulty arises.
Hope is the foundation of all dreams and aspirations, and without it, it’s difficult to stay motivated and achieve what you desire. That’s why Greg Zlevor, TEDx Speaker, and eight-time best-selling author with over 30 years of experience in coaching, says that being hopeful is a quality that every great leader should have.
With a passion for bringing people together and inspiring change, Zlevor has a deep respect for the power of organizational culture and teams. In his early career, he founded the Community Building and Organizations Conference, developed the orientation program “48 Hours” for Boston College students and spent ten years working on community building with M. Scott Peck, psychiatrist and author of The Road Less Traveled.
Most recently, Zlevor is the founder of HopeMakers Collective, a community where talented individuals come together to have candid conversations, share ideas, and inspire one another to give back to the world. A large part of what he does gives people the tools they need to step up and be the change.
“The biggest thing about hope and leadership is that people won’t lead, take action or put themselves out there unless they have some kind of hope. If people are hopeless, you’ll notice they don’t do anything,” he says, alluding to a study that was conducted in the 1950’s.
At John Hopkins University, a biologist by the name of Curt Richter conducted psychology experiments that examined the power of hope. Infamously known as the “drowning rats” experiments, Richter placed domesticated and wild rats into buckets filled with water to see how long they survived.
Upon realizing that they would give up after a few minutes of peddling water, Richter would save the rats from drowning moments before they gave up, and put them back in the water. This time, they swam for hours instead of minutes, the only difference being a sense of hope that they would once again be saved.
These experiments demonstrate the power of hope and resilience in overcoming difficult situations.
Sometimes as leaders, negative emotions can get the best of us, and we let our minds trick us into thinking that our efforts won’t make a difference. However, Zlevor teaches that when you get a difficult emotion, rather than avoiding it or trying to push it away, you should embrace it and try to figure out its message.
“What this emotion tells you is important to you. Once you get that message, then you can let the anger, frustration, or anxiety go away so you can focus on what the next steps are for you to achieve what’s important,” he explains.
In many ways, every individual has experienced some form of fear that has stopped them from achieving something. Fear of rejection, failure, or even success are hindrances to you accomplishing certain goals or reaching your true purpose and making a difference.
“I think to lead wisely in a global age, there are several factors. One is being able to handle and use emotions as an ally rather than a distraction or a difficulty, two is getting the right network and people around you, three is obtaining a proper philosophy, perspective, and frame on the world, and fourth is having proper intent lined up with proper action towards a significant goal that matters, that makes a difference for you and the world,” he says.
As the founder of HopeMakers Collective, Zlevor has created a community where you can bring forth your vision and share your highest dreams and hopes for not only yourself, but also the world around you. “The goal is to give people something to work towards or give them hope so that they can take greater and greater action,” he adds.
Through live retreats filled with creative brainstorming and knowledge sharing, you can surround yourself with global experts who have been in your position before and possess tremendous skills and talents, and return home with a renewed spirit, vibrant energy and actionable ideas to complete your leadership projects.
“We want to give hope to each other that we can travel further, go faster, do more, and have a greater impact. From there, we want each member to go out and give hope to whoever they’re meeting. The goal is to help everyone else be more hopeful and do more, so they share that and let that be contagious for others,” he says.
“If enough people are together and share their stories and their challenges and their troubles and begin to show each other how they’ve made it through, more people get through faster and more easily,” he concludes.
If you believe in the spirit of service and power of listening, then joining the HopeMakers Collective is exactly what you need.