When it comes to servant leadership, have you ever though about the definition of gratitude? I once worked for a leader who was constantly looking for ways to thank the employees and recognize them for the work they were doing. She would start each meeting with a gratitude definition within the team. Meaning she would ask us all who we were grateful for and why. She would consistently seek out ways to brag on them publicly. It was very powerful to be the recipient of such praise.
So many leaders keep their focus out front. To constantly be looking at where they are going and how are they going to get there. When we do this we have a tendency to completely forget to look back and remember how we got to where we are. Instead we wake up thinking about the future.
It is really easy to forget that many people have contributed to the success of an organization or project. Whether they are employees, volunteers or participants their contribution generally outweighs anything we as leaders have received.
Leaders have an opportunity to create a culture of gratitude in their organizations. It is pretty well know that an abundance mindset is much more lucrative than a scarcity mindset. In other words, looking at the glass as half full instead of half empty serves us better in the long run.
How can we promote gratitude?
Saying thank you creates a culture of gratitude and gratitude generates generosity. By recognizing and thanking those around them leaders are creating a culture where people are willing to loan their extra time and talent to the organization. Employees put in extra effort and time to get things done right. Volunteers work longer and harder. Everyone is engaged, there is less tension and much less workplace drama.
When a leader does not convey their gratitude whether with words or notes, the message people receive is I could have done this without you. I encourage you to pause and build gratitude into the rhythm of your personal schedule and communicate your gratitude to those around you. It says you are watching. It says you are paying attention.
Everyone is grateful in their heart, pause long enough to express it.
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