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Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It: Why People Demand it by Barry Z. Posner, James M. Kouzes

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Arouse Positive Thoughts and Images

To keep hope alive, leaders must inspire constituents to see positive images of the future.19 As athletes and their coaches have known for a long time, stored mental pictures influence performance. Unless you can see yourself as being successful, it is very difficult to produce the behavior that leads to success. Experiment after experiment shows that positive images make groups more effective, relieve symptoms of illness, and enhance achievement in school, the military, and business organizations.20

Dutch sociologist Fred Polak backed up this observation, noting that “the rise and fall of images of the future precedes or accompanies the rise and fall of cultures. As long as a society's image is positive and ...

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