Leading with Gratitude is a Vital Skill for Successful Leaders


Adapted  and written by Pam Burgess

This time of year is often when we pause and think about what we are grateful for in our lives.  Gratitude sees what is right with the world and usually finds something meaningful in every situation. Being grateful not only enriches our lives with joy and appreciation for the present, but appreciating what we have and who we are today will enable us to see new opportunities moving forward.
How does Gratitude help us as Leaders?
Gratitude Taps into Potential
As a people leader, those who see others through the lens of gratitude will always see the untapped potential in people and inspire them to achieve what others think is impossible. Remember, where our attention goes, energy flows. 

Gratitude Leads To Opportunities
The doors to opportunities often open from unexpected sources. We have all experienced this. Showing appreciation draws the interest of those with whom we come in contact, and will attract other leaders who will help us become even more successful.

Gratitude Increases Trust
When we show others that we value their hard work and contributions, their trust in our leadership and direction increases.

Gratitude Helps Us Have Perspective
As we look at any business situation, we can easily get overwhelmed if we focus on just what’s not working. Fear and anxiety can set in and prevent us from thinking clearly. Gratitude is the antidote to fear and anxiety.  By focusing on “what’s working” we can create a vision for the business or ourselves that is grounded in “strengths”. Starting with an understanding of what’s working is a strong foundation upon which to grow and change. It will literally affect our attitude and the attitude of those around us.
Gratitude also keeps us from becoming self-absorbed; it sustains a focus on our purposes in life. Leaders can become absorbed in themselves and their problems; gratitude breaks this self-absorption.

Gratitude Builds Connections
When we focus on and express what’s good in others, it builds our connection to them. Others feel valued for their work and cared about as individuals. “Being valued” is a key driver of sustainable engagement. No single behavior more intuitively and reliably influences the quality of people’s energy than feeling valued and appreciated by their leader. Genuine words of gratefulness never fail to have an impact—both on the one who speaks them and the one who hears them. Remember -- gratitude is a gift to be given and received. 

Gratitude Creates Resilience
Facing our challenges with gratitude creates resilience to push forward to implement the vision we set for ourselves and meet our goals as leaders. Resilience is critical for leaders as they face the challenges of their work. And Grateful Leaders will tell you they appreciate what came from the experience.

▪ Gratitude Develops Success
Our success ultimately depends on collaboration with others. Having gratitude for those who help us become successful influences them to do more to help us and support our cause.


As Alfred North Whitehead said, “No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.”