“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
– John F. Kennedy, 45th President of the U.S.
Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants. It is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.
Making Gratitude a Daily Practice
Gratitude is crucial for successful leaders. They must understand the importance of this habit in their business operations. It is a force that transforms and focuses. Making a habit of practicing gratitude is one of the most important skills a leader can possess. Studies have shown that being grateful is a result of and promotes moral behavior. It demonstrates that a leader cares. People are more likely to feel gratitude when declarations are made in public.
Leaders find it easier to be grateful when they seek out the good in situations. Those who constantly criticize and carry on with a negative air in their environment find it difficult, if not impossible, to identify and express gratitude.
Changing the Culture
Gratitude and being grateful is a powerful tool. A leader can shape the culture and destiny of their business by simply making it a habit. There is an old adage that a great leader praises in public and corrects in private. Be genuine! Look for the good in every situation, recognize it and then praise it publicly. Learn to harness the power and you will see a powerful change!