Article printed in Brainz Magazine 9/14/20
A key element of leadership is to set clear goals and then to show gratitude when those goals are achieved. Gratitude is an important element in all aspects of business. I believe that everyone wants to do a good job. However, for that to happen, first you must set clear, measurable goals for everyone on your team to achieve, and second you must notice when those goals are achieved.
Gratitude encourages engagement and more positive interactions. It sets a positive mindset for the team and is good for everyone’s physical health and stress levels. If an employee does not know what your expectations are, it is impossible for them to achieve them. If they do achieve it, and it goes unnoticed, then they decide it was not important after all.
Gratitude focuses on success and getting the job done correctly. Practicing gratitude creates a happier workforce and attracts excellent team members. Gratitude needs to be expressed to the individual, one on one, and to the team. It needs to be freely given and authentic. Celebrate your victories as a team and their contributions as an individual and keep the focus results orientated. The people who work for you will thrive if you recognize their contribution.
Gratitude is an important element in all aspects of business. Express gratitude to your coworkers, and they will work harder to collaborate with you. Show gratitude to your bosses, and they will work harder to support you. Make sure your boss gives you clear guidelines of what excellence looks like in their eyes so that you can accomplish their goals.
Show gratitude to your customers, and they will find ways to do more business with you. Show gratitude to your suppliers and they will work harder to supply quality and to keep to your agreed upon timetable
Gratitude serves you well in all of your relationships within the organization, from the mailroom, to window washers to Employee Relations support. The more you recognize and express appreciation for what others do for and with you, the greater your success and the more positive your impact. Gratitude enrolls them in your success because you are acknowledging their success.
Everyone works harder for someone who appreciates what they contribute. Leadership based in gratitude fosters a positive work culture and encourages your team to be more productive, happy, creative, and collaborative in all your business relationships. People who practice gratitude see an abundance in their lives. It is a relationship-building practice.
The opposite of gratitude as a leadership tool is self-absorption.
You cannot be a good leader if you are only concerned with your own success and not with the success of the total. If you view relationships as disposable, then the only person you value is yourself. The collective mind and effort are always more successful than the individual, and self-absorption stifles creativity and cooperation with other people.
It is stressful and annoying to be around someone who is only out for their own glory. That person becomes a weight that slows the others down. This atmosphere hinders productivity, and creates a dog eat dog environment with others positioning to appear important without being vulnerable and without contributing to the whole.
Ungrateful people tend to be characterized by an excessive sense of self-importance, arrogance, vanity, and an unquenchable need for admiration and approval. Narcissists are all about themselves. Narcissists “expect special favors and feel no need to pay back or pay forward” or to even acknowledge efforts made outside themselves.
So why would others give their best performance to such a person?
Self-absorbed bosses often are “victims” looking for others to blame for their failings. They create an environment of negativity, regret, resentment, and paranoia. These bosses stifle other people’s achievements. They create spectators out of the team and not do-ers. People who would be proactive become reactive, and accomplishments are thwarted.
Employees do not produce their best work, co-workers do not want to work as a team, customers are not loyal, suppliers do not save their best product for the self-absorbed player.
If you are a self-absorbed manager, others in the organization do not give their best, because their best always goes unnoticed. Employee relations does not pass their best people to be on that team, because they do not want to lose that person to a narcissist boss. Entitlement is at the core of self-absorption, so when and if the achievement arrives, there are always grievances that outnumber the victories.
Be the grateful boss, and success will follow you wherever you go.
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