A Leader’s Most Influential Tool: Gratitude
Gratitude is one of a great leader’s most powerful tools. It creates positive energy among an organization and the sense of appreciation permeates through the work the collective group is performing. Influential leaders listen to the needs of their colleagues and express gratitude. This helps them bring out the potential in the people they lead and inspire them to achieve what is most important to them and to the project.
Gratitude-based leadership is not necessarily an inherited trait – it is a skill learned primarily through the study of others. Our own sense of leadership grows by studying those who have provided inspiration, expressed gratitude, and offered unwavering support to guide our professional and personal success. At Arc Aspicio, our mentoring program provides colleagues an opportunity to mature these skills through personal career discussions and development.
Good management does not automatically denote a strong foundation for leadership. The leaders we attempt to emulate the most – the ones we remember for years to come – show intellectual empathy and are specific in how they recognize their team member’s contributions. This goes beyond basic management.
A great manager efficiently accomplishes a project. A great leader guides the growth of their teams by supporting those that have made mistakes and encouraging them to try again, and expressing gratitude for hard work and for specific ideas and accomplishments.
Three ways to become a great leader through the lens of gratitude are:
- Listen and inspire – Leaders who notice potential in their people encourage growth and praise their abilities to others by using specific examples. Through active listening, you can identify people’s talents and help guide them to feel empowered to accomplish great work
- Create a meaningful workplace – Teach people why their work has meaning and say thank you when they achieve the goals of the team. Recognize them when they go beyond their assignments and take initiative or help others
- Reward those who express gratitude – Encourage others to recognize good contributions and encourage them to say thank you in a public, visible way. This sets an example within the team and with others outside of the team
Leaders who show appreciation for the work of their people tend to receive unsolicited support for urgent (and sometimes boring) projects because the team shares in the success together. Supporting the team by recognizing their hard work fosters a healthy workplace.
I am lucky to work in an organization where leaders recognize the importance of showing gratitude and putting it to practice – we build stronger, more closely connected teams that help each other achieve goals and then share in the success.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.