This time of year, gratitude moves to the forefront of our thoughts and becomes more of a motivation for why we do what we do. When you think of valuable competencies, important for leadership roles, you might consider listening, motivating others, or communication, but what about gratitude?
To be grateful means to be, “warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful.” When we come from a place of gratitude, we open ourselves up to seeing the beauty and grace in life and in other people, both in our professional and personal lives. So how does gratitude strengthen and influence your leaders? Think of leaders in your own life and career or leaders who have inspired you through workshops or the media–What made that leader stand out? Typically, a stand-out leader is one who appreciates and values what their peers and team bring to the table. When you come from a place of gratitude, you very clearly see the potential that others bring to the table and you appreciate what sets them apart from each other. This new lens that you are looking through, not only helps you as a leader, but it has an impact on your team, as they begin to feel appreciated and valued for their individual contributions.
The effects of this shift in the attitude and perspective of your leadership, are long-standing and felt by everyone involved. The result is a dynamic team working with purpose and drive.
Author Kira M. Newman, wrote, “
The practice of gratitude—and its close sibling, appreciation—has started to infiltrate workplaces, from new software companies to older institutions like Campbell Soup, whose former CEO wrote 30,000 thank you notes to his employees… research on gratitude has exploded over the past two decades… results so far link it to more positive emotions, less stress and fewer health complaints, a greater sense that we can achieve our goals, fewer sick days, and higher satisfaction with our jobs and our coworkers.” (Newman, K. (2017, September). How Gratitude Can Transform Your Workplace, Greater Good Magazine. Retrieved from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_can_transform_your_workplace )
If we have gleaned anything from 2020, it is the importance of solid leadership and a nimble team to be able to meet any and all challenges. Along with that, it is the foundation that these teams are built on, that carries them through the choppy waters, back into the light.
Consultant Stephanie Pollack wrote, “Acknowledging the thoughts and efforts of people with gratitude shows that those people matter. When I’ve seen it work, it’s just life-changing.”