As leaders find ourselves striving for what’s next. We are working to achieve the next goal, pushing to summit the next mountain, or volunteering time to change some of this world’s injustices. It’s that drive that has made us effective leaders. At times, it seems that there is hardly time to sleep! Our days are filled from start to finish — work, school, church, spouses, friends, kids…the list goes on. (As a father of 4 daughters, don’t get me started on all of the activities/programming that the kids are involved in!)
In the midst of all of that activity, we don’t have time for someone’s list of the 50 things that leaders need to be doing now. But, what if there was one simple thing that we could do that enabled us to be more effective leaders?
Lead with some gratitude
The vast majority of leadership material focuses on driving a group to achieve a common goal. However, outstanding leaders also take time to step back, reflect and express gratitude. Here’s how.
Step 1 — Reflection.
Spend a few minutes to reflect on:
- A manager who has had a positive impact in your life/career over the last month.
- An employee or direct report who has accomplished something extraordinary.
- A family member or friend that that you appreciate.
As you think about these things, realize how blessed you are to have these relationships.
Step 2 — Say “thanks”. Jot down some notes and make a point to, within 24 hours, say thank you to the people who came to mind.
Gratitude make leaders more effective
At this point, you are likely asking “how does gratitude make leaders more effective?” Thanks for asking. Here’s how:
- The power of reflection — the process of reflecting helps leaders to think through what has had an impact on them…and they can use these things to have an impact on those whom they lead.
- The power of a “thank you” — I am consistently amazed at the impact of a simple, heart-felt “thank you”. I have seen toxic corporate cultures transformed into thriving environments as leaders began reflecting and thanking employees. People are wired to desire recognition and a pat on the back for the things they are doing well. Tap into that!
- The power to strengthen relationships — Gratitude creates more transparency in relationships. Pay close attention as you embrace the practice of gratitude. You will see your relationships deepen.
Gratitude starts today
Start by taking 5 minutes right now. See the impact that gratitude has on you…but more importantly, look for the impact it has on others. Then make sure that you build time into your schedule to regularly step back, reflect and be thankful!