3 Ways for CEOs to Lead with Gratitude
The holidays give us the opportunity to think about gratitude. Sure, we all know we need to give thanks when someone does something for us, or to be grateful for the food we eat the roof over our head, but what does the practice of gratitude mean to a leader in the business landscape?
From a leadership standpoint, gratitude can be powerful in terms of shaping your perspective and both the mindset of your organization and its culture. In fact, research shows that practicing gratitude leads to a number of benefits that can reinforce your own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of those in your workplace. It improves physical and psychological health, raises self-esteem, and contributes to stronger relationships. Gratitude doesn’t have to be about massive efforts of kindness, as nice and generous as those might be. Taking small steps to demonstrate where you’re appreciative and yet giving thanks consistently over time can have a significant impact. So this holiday season, I challenge you to give yourself and others the simple gift of gratitude, creating new habits around the spirit of “thanks.”
Here are a few suggestions:
Start your day off with daily gratitude. Whether you do this before rolling out of bed, when taking your shower, or sitting patiently in your morning commute, think about what makes you feel grateful. Start with your personal life. Then shift your thinking to your professional life, naming a few things each day. When you walk into work, your mindset will likely be a bit more positive, your perspective brighter. And that’s a great way to start the day.
Share your appreciation of others. Let people know they matter. This includes communicating this information to staff, vendors, partners, customers and others. But don’t feel you must recognize everyone at once…take your time and be genuine and specific…it’s far more effective than a generic thank you. Let the recipient know for what you’re grateful and why it’s important to your leadership, the company, other staff members and customers. Sharing gratitude can become a solid strategy for supporting morale and growing motivation.
Give back. Your gratitude, as an expression of who you are and what you want to be as a leader, will become clear to many as you habitually model the act of giving to others. Case in point, many of MAP’s clients have “giving back” as one of their core values, proactively sponsoring community or charitable activities. As such, these leaders don’t stand behind a curtain, expecting everyone else to magically do these acts of kindness for them. They are front-and-center leaders, modeling the behaviors they wish to see from others in their organization.
Practicing gratitude professionally and personally is a simple strategy with long-lasting results. Do you have an innovative way you show gratitude to your team? Comment below!