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Grateful Leaders Strengthen Cultures

by Jonathan Jones

As Thanksgiving and the holiday season approach, people’s thoughts turn to gratitude and thanks. How do we capture and embrace that spirit throughout the year?

Envision a workplace where every employee feels appreciated and respected by you and valued for the work they do. Assume they boasted about you to their coworkers and felt fortunate to work for you. Imagine you received similar comments from your customers—i.e., your customers raved about your products and services and bragged about you to their customers and contacts in the industry. You would probably have a solid sense of self worth and make a good living. Would this scenario represent Utopia?

You can boost your chances of the aforementioned happening by deliberately nurturing a grateful attitude in your heart. Consider that the average worker is praised only once a year, according to Gallup. As a leader, you have the opportunity of a lifetime. Begin with the basic strategy of focusing on your own thoughts. Take time to think about the things you are grateful for in your life.

Make a list of these gifts and plan to discuss them with your employees. Consider tying your gratitude to your company’s goals and objectives. Tell employees what they do well, how much you appreciate them, and how their work aligns with the company’s mission and their own success. Repeat these behaviors multiple times during the day. The first few times may seem difficult, but with experience, they will become second nature.

Maintain your daily practice of gratitude. Once you’ve mastered this approach, teach it to your coworkers. Encourage them to be kind to one another and to your customers. In doing so, you can improve the relationship between your employees and your customers. Both are more likely to be loyal and to foster a positive workplace environment. Culture transformation begins with gratitude.

Jonathan Jones (Jonathan.jones@vistagechair.com or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.

Submitted 99 days ago
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