The world is in desperate need of leadership.  Wayward people need direction. Broken people need options.  Under-resourced people need solutions.  Hopeless people need to know there is a brighter tomorrow.  When you add each of these things up, the most important thing leaders bring to a hurting world is hope.

I was reminded of this truth when reading an August 28, 2015 CNN Money article on Hurricane Katrina and the work of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.  After the 2006 storm devastated the city, Brees became a symbol of hope and was instrumental in the its rebuild.

The following are 7 Lessons About The Most Important Thing Leaders Bring To A Hurting World – Hope:

  1. Use Your Mess To Minister To Others – Coming off a shoulder injury and after being released by the San Diego Chargers, the Saints were the only team to offer Brees a contract.  Few players wanted to come to New Orleans.  The city was a ghost town.  Homes were destroyed.  Schools for the players’s children were woefully damaged.  The quality of life away from the field was well-below that of other NFL cities.  Going to something as simple as a drug store was a challenge.  Brees admitted, “A lot of guys came here in 2006, including myself, as somewhat of castaways.  Many of us did not have many other options.”
  2. Where There Is Great Calamity There Is Great Opportunity For Good – Brees added, “We chose New Orleans because we felt like we could do something special down here.”
  3. Hope Cannot Be Given In Isolation.  It Takes A Supportive Community. – Referring to his fellow New Orleanians, Brees noted, “We leaned on each other in so many cases.”  We truly are our brothers keeper.
  4. You Cannot Give People Hope Without Giving Them Something To Be Excited About – Brees observed, “As people are trying to rebuild their homes, rebuild their lives, they’re still coming to games to cheer on the Saints because it just gives them so much energy and enthusiasm … just this feeling that we’re all in this together.”
  5. Hope Fulfilled Results In Pure Joy – Brees said, “When we won that Super Bowl, it was that culmination of all those ups and downs, all those hardships.  [It was] just that sheer elation of, we’ve done it, and we’ve done it together.”
  6. You Give People Hope By Providing Solutions For Their Issues Moving Forward – In 2003, Drew and his wife Brittany began the Brees Dream Foundation.  Since its inception, the foundation has raised more than $25 million to help make lives better for cancer patients and provide care, hope, education and opportunities for those in need.  To learn more about this incredible organization, click HERE.
  7. Partnerships Allow You To Provide More Hope Than You Can By Yourself –  As part of helping with the hurricane recovery efforts, Brees formed a partnership with Operation Kids in 2007.  Together, they began rebuilding parks, athletic facilities, playgrounds and launched mentoring programs in the local schools.

By giving hope to so many in the New Orleans area, Brees and his organization are true Saints.  What is one thing from this list you can do today to begin giving others hope?


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