5 for 5 – Gratitude: a foundation of good leaders

17 Nov

thank you

Good morning everyone.

How are you doing with slowing down? For me, it has been a tough week. I was on the road for a good portion of this week, which meant I was hardly slowing down at all. I will say though, I have been thinking a lot about the little things I am grateful for this week. Unfortunately, I don’t always see those in the moment, but tend to think of it later…..a few things, I am grateful for this week include:

  • Getting to and from my destination safely. We tend to lose sight of the safety of travel in airport delays and lost baggage, but I always grateful for getting home from a trip safely…and relatively healthy.
  • For my family. I caught an earlier flight home and got to see them before they headed off to bed. The house was clean for which I am always very grateful.
  • The readers of this blog, whether directly as members of the 5 for 5 site or if you have read this via a share on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email. I am grateful to have a few minutes of your day. I hope this and other messages will inspire you on your journey.

Which got me thinking….surely besides gratitude helping us to slow down, there are certainly side benefits to our own happiness when we express our gratitude. I found the following article this week which talks about research into the ties between gratitude and happiness (http://headhearthand.org/blog/2013/11/28/8-ways-thankfulness-boosts-happiness-2/). Here are the 8 ways suggested by this blog:

  1. Grateful thinking promotes the savoring of positive life experiences.
  2. Expressing gratitude increases confidence
  3. Gratitude helps people cope with stress and trauma.
  4. The expression of gratitude encourages moral behavior.
  5. Gratitude can help build social bonds
  6. Gratitude tends to inhibit invidious comparisons with others (contentment)
  7. Gratitude is incompatible with negative emotions
  8. Gratitude helps us to adjust rapidly to any new circumstance or event helps us when the event is unpleasant

So what you may ask is whether is this all a bunch of “warm and fuzzy mumbo jumbo”. No, not at all. In fact, as I looked at the list I began to replace “gratitude” with “good leaders” in all of these examples….it is a perfect drop-in….here are a few to try on:

  • Good leaders helps people cope with stress and trauma..
  • Good leaders encourages moral behavior….
  • Good leaders can build social bonds….
  • Good leaders help us to adjust rapidly to any new circumstance or event helps us when the event is unpleasant…

Gratitude is one of the foundations of good leaders. Chew on that thought this week…….tell someone on your team how much you truly appreciate even the smallest thing that they have done……even better, if you have the opportunity to skip a few levels, you can magnify the impact!!! Never underestimate the power of a thank you……

Here’s this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

5 Routines To Clear Mental Clutter – by Stephanie Vozza – via Fast Company


SO WHAT: To do our best work, leading and creatively, we need to learn to clear our minds to truly focus on critical decisions. My favoriate is “Creating Time for unconscious thought.”

Tags: Focus, Mindfulness


15 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the Year Ends – by Laura Garnett – via The Muse


SO WHAT: As we talked about in the last 5 for 5 blog “Slow Down!”, reflective thinking can be a great way to be focused and aware and not get caught up in the end of year time drains.

Tags: Leadership


An Exercise to Become a More Powerful Listener – by Greg McKeown – via HBR


SO WHAT: To develop a leadership presence that is truly focused on the team and their development, start by listening.

Tags: Leadership


10 Great Habits for Working at Home – by Jayson Demers – via INC.


SO WHAT: Working from home can be an amazing luxury, when you think about having to be at appointments, pickups kids, or just not deal with insane commutes. I am learning to master this process myself and this article offers some great reminders.

Tags: Productivity


10 Tips and Quotes From the Best Leadership Books of the Year – by John Brandon – via INC


SO WHAT: In case you haven’t been keeping up with your reading, here is an article with great quotes from this year’s top leadership books. Combine these tips with the earlier article on reflection to begin setting your sights for 2015.

Tags: Leadership


All the best, Kevin