Leadership experts (including yours truly) spend lots of time identifying the characteristics that great leaders have in common – vision, courage, charisma, energy, insight. I’ll bet you have your own list you measure yourself against, checking to see where you excel and where you still have work to do. Me, too.
Here’s something new to consider – Great Leaders are Grateful People.
Most leadership checklists don’t include this characteristic – but they should! Here’s why living in gratitude is an essential quality for effective leadership:
- It makes you happy – Five minutes a day keeping a gratitude journal can increase your overall happiness quotient by more than 10%. That’s the same impact as doubling your income! Happiness attracts others – great leaders know this.
- It affirms others – People like being appreciated for who they are and what they do. Great leaders make their team feel important and valued, which keeps them connected and committed to the goal.
- It enhances resilience – Living in gratitude increases your ability to cope and adjust when things get rocky. Great leaders are able to change course without losing direction, keeping their team on an even keel, even when things feel uncertain.
- It improves decision-making – Gratitude clears away the mental clutter and helps you focus on what’s important. Great leaders keep their eyes on the prize and help their team to do the same.
- It expands possibilities – Living in gratitude creates a sense of optimism and an expectation of positive outcomes. When leaders believe they will succeed, their team follows suit.
Of course, gratitude is not just an inside attitude. Living in gratitude becomes an outward expression – the way we meet and interact with others in the world. Finding and naming points of gratitude in a relationship, whether business or personal, deepens and affirms the connection.
I am grateful for my connection to you. Whether I have spoken on your stage, trained in your boardroom or taught in your classroom – I am thankful for you. If we met as friends or colleagues, at a conference, in the community or online, I am appreciative our paths have crossed. If you found my blog on the web, I am grateful to be found.
Be a better leader– Live in gratitude and Increase Your Impact!
Dr. Sherene McHenry, Leadership IQ expert, is a widely acclaimed speaker, author and coach that demystifies how to lead, motivate and resolve conflict for optimal results. Known for being witty, wise and highly practical, Sherene provides instantly implementable tips and strategies that get real world results.