Gratitude's role in leadership

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Anthony Pica
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Gratitude's role in leadership

Gratitude's role in leadership

Leaders depend on others to achieve their mission together. Yet when our teams are successful, gratitude can slip through the cracks.

Instead of celebrating success, we focus on the next problem to solve or what could be even better. We assume people know we're grateful. Through the hustle and bustle of the day, we take things for granted. It's unfortunate because expressing gratitude can make us happy.

Psychologist Dr. Robert Emmons performed a study where three groups of participants were asked to log either 1) their hassles, 2) things they were grateful for, or 3) neutral life events. Per the results, "the gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures," which suggests that "a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits."

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can displace other emotions like anger and sadness. Indeed, one way to improve your well-being is to express gratitude more often. We replace complaints with thanks.

And of course, showing appreciation to others can impact their well-being too: When people feel seen, heard, and understood, they feel valued.

LinkedIn's executive chairman Jeff Weiner puts it this way:

"The highest ROI management practice I know is the expression of gratitude…from a place of deep authenticity…when you put yourself in the shoes of the person or the team that did the work, and you understand what they went through to make it happen, that's when an expression of gratitude can be invaluable."

Gratitude's role in leadership creates a positive environment for happy, high-performing teams that are motivated to achieve their mission together.

This is a reminder to make a habit of expressing the gratitude you probably already have inside you. Gratitude for your team and the good work they do, gratitude for your friends and the sense of belonging they provide, and gratitude for your family and their love that surrounds you.

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