Thanksgiving is a funny holiday. It seems today, it’s more about marking the start of the Christmas shopping season than anything else. Yes, we might get together with family and friends, have a good meal, eat and maybe drink too much and, if we’re lucky, get four days off. We might also participate in the annual “What are you thankful for?” tradition and be very sincere. But we have one question: why do we wait for this one day in November to give thanks?
We ask that with something specific in mind: the growing attitude that being grateful and gratitude in general plays an important part in our lives, our leadership, and our businesses. The opening paragraph of “Gratitude: The Leader’s Most Underused but Powerful Tool” located here asks the question,
“Gratitude? I mean, yeah, it’s great, but not really crucial for a leader. Why gratitude? And specifically, why would it make the list in a list of leadership tools?”
Answer: “A growing body of research has uncovered the extraordinary impact of gratitude in every area of life…Gratitude not only elicits behavior in the person who is expressing it, but it also elicits response in the person who is receiving it.” In other words, gratitude is beneficial for you, as well as others in your life. It’s good for your person. It’s good for your relationships. It’s good for your business.
It’s easy to spot a grateful leader. In fact, we can identify them long before we even meet them. How? We observe their company culture. There are always signs.
The first sign is the way their social media presents to the world. It’s full of praise for employees. It’s full of thanks for every customer who mentions them or reviews them. There are encouraging words and shares and likes. This is a pleasant person to follow on Facebook and they usually live up to their online persona.
The next sign of a grateful leader comes from the employees themselves. Walk into this place of business on any day, at any time, and you are likely to see employees going about their work with a smile. They are cooperating with co-workers, being helpful, and always expressing appreciation for the way others contribute to the work. There is probably a board somewhere, which tracks company wins. There is a drawer with stationery and stamps for writing quick thank you notes to customers and vendors. The whole place just feels steeped in sincerity and appreciation. And that’s before the leader ever shows up.
The signs of a grateful leader are found in everything he or she touches. That’s because gratefulness spreads over everything, like a warm blanket, insulating us from the chill of the world. It holds us and keeps us. It buffers our interactions and lifts our spirits. There is no doubt, gratitude is good for all of us, and the grateful leader can make it possible for others to benefit. A grateful culture starts when the leader intentionally cultivates gratitude.
So for this year’s annual Thanksgiving post from us, Carter and Taylor, we want you to know that not a day goes by that we are not grateful for all of you: clients, employees, family, and friends. Without you all, Spark Marketer would not be what it is today. We also hope, for those of you who are the leaders in your business, that you take gratitude to heart, knowing it is good for us all.
–Taylor & Carter