Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose. I chose gratitude.” —Nick Vujicic
By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM
Very few of us have as much to be angry about as Nick Vujicic. Yet, Nick has chosen to be grateful. If he can do it, so can you. Gratitude can make a difference not only in your life but in the lives of those you work and associate with. Think of the example you will be setting if you demonstrate gratitude in every area of your life, including your leadership. What a simple concept; change lives by showing gratitude.
Why show gratitude? Melody Beattie explained, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” When you are truly grateful, everyone wins. People who operate in an environment of appreciation and gratitude are more inspired and engaged. They have a positive outlook on life. Gratitude can be a great motivator and there is no better way to develop trust than letting people know they are sincerely cared for and appreciated. Gratitude opens the door to building new, stronger relationships; it can ease hardships, and amplify the positive in life. Gratitude and happiness are interconnected and can be infectious. How much more productive and engaged would your employees be if they felt supported and appreciated by you?
To whom should you express gratitude? People want to associate and do business with people they like and who appreciate them. When you show gratitude, people will remember how good you made them feel. The most powerful tool for success at your disposal is your ability to make others feel appreciated. When people feel appreciated they are more likely to communicate openly, collaborate more, and accomplish great things. As a leader, you should express gratitude to those who have an impact on you. This means personally and professionally; both internal and external to your organization.
How can you make others feel appreciated? You can create an environment where others have the opportunity to thrive, be creative, and increase their potential. Notice the good in others daily. Thank them both privately and publically with words of appreciation. Be authentic by expressing gratitude because you get pleasure from doing so, not out of obligation. Show empathy and compassion. Demonstrate your gratitude by offering your ear, giving compliments that are specific, offering opportunities, showing trust, and making others feel they’re part of something bigger. As a leader, you can create a healthy, happy culture where gratitude is the norm.
Gratitude in Leadership
John Milton said, “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” As a leader, your gratitude will change the way both you and those you associate with see the world. Use your grateful attitude to help others focus on the positive aspects of their personal and professional lives. It’s a simple concept; express gratitude daily and change not only the lives of those you associate with, but your own life as well.
© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli
Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.