With the Xmas season upon us it seems only right and fitting for gratitude to be in our daily working lives. And it usually is for those of us in leadership and who work with leaders; however, there is more to this than a feel-good exercise.
Research carried out by Robert Emmons Ph.D. of University of California-Davis and Mike McCulloch, Director of Evolution and Human Behaviour Laboratory at University of Miami and many others have studied gratitude. The studies have found strong correlations between benefits and the practice of gratitude. For leaders, it is worth highlighting these benefits:
- Prevents and/or reduces toxic, negative emotions
- Supports resilience (to stress)
- Encourages feelings of interconnectedness with people
By modelling gratitude, as leaders we can continuously nurture a positive organisational culture which leads to feelings of satisfaction, higher levels of productivity and / which fosters open mindsets.
Where does gratitude fit in with being a CEO?
I actually don’t think that having a title makes a difference, regardless of the size of business; you are still the CEO with or without a title. It comes down to how you utilise the CEO mindset.
Gratitude fits right in here. For a lot of business leaders, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activity. Sure, there are things you must do every day but there is also a need to prioritize and even let go of responsibilities that could be done by others or simply don’t fit your organizational culture or structure anymore.
Practicing habits of gratitude fits in with being a CEO. Here are some to consider:
- Have a Positive mind-set so you can stay open for problem-solving, new ideas or whatever may pop up during the day
- Endurance so you can effectively train and delegate tasks to your team, particularly when your company is about to make a big leap
- Noticing talent and contributions inclusive of saying “thank you” makes people feel respected and appreciated.
- Increased self-awareness by taking time to examine your day and list what you are grateful for. This will enable you to notice blind spots, mistakes, strengths and moments of joy.
I think these few snippets may be just a starting point but it is interesting to see how gratitude supports what we all want most for our company’s / businesses.
Reason(s) to incorporate gratitude into your leadership style
So it could be agreed that incorporating gratitude into our day mindfully will certainly bring health and psychological benefits individually. However, in our roles as leader, it is so much more. As Leaders we are always looking for ways to support productivity and high performance from teams and employees. These are directly connected to the bottom line. Leaders who practice gratitude avoid taking their people for granted, foster the exchange of information and cooperation and build trust.
Research keeps telling us that these qualities (among others) create much stronger business results. Imagine how you could positively affect your organization when you add gratitude to your leadership style!
Adapted from Unlocking the CEO from within