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How to Expand Leadership with Gratitude

Leadership implodes on itself apart from gratitude.

Richness of life is contingent on gratitude.

Behavior not feeling:

Think of gratitude as a behavior not a feeling. Never allow your problems to prevent you from saying thank you to others.

Behave your way into gratitude, start saying thank you, today.


  1. Expands energy.
  2. Expresses respect.
  3. Elevates confidence.

Gratitude lifts leadership out of the mud.

Gratitude says:

  1. I see you.
  2. You matter.
  3. You belong.
  4. I respect what you do.
  5. You contributed to success.

Gratitude enobles both recipient and giver.

Gratitude answers:

  1. Conceit. The narrowness of conceit is broken with gratitude.
  2. Anxiety. The dread of anxiety is weakened with gratitude.
  3. Anger. The heat of anger is cooled with gratitude.
  4. Resentment. The self-destruction of resentment is lifted with gratitude.
  5. Discontent. The darkness of discontent is brightened with gratitude.
  6. Stress. The tension of stress is lessened with gratitude.
  7. Self-importance.The weight of self-importance is lightened with gratitude.

A young leader asked how to talk about his accomplishments without seeming arrogant. I said, “Be thankful for the opportunity to serve and all those who made success possible. If you succeeded on your own, it’s not worth talking about”

Serious about gratitude:

  1. Schedule gratitude or busyness will push it out. List teammates on a gratitude calendar, for example.
  2. Begin your day by expressing gratitude to three people, then get to work. Pick up the phone or walk down the hall.
  3. Copy your boss, on gratitude emails.
  4. End your day with an act of gratitude, then go home.

Everyone of your direct reports should hear a specific thank you – from you – at least once a week.

The act of gratitude:

  1. Establish eye contact.
  2. Include appropriate touch.
  3. Name a behavior that produces results.
  4. Say the words, “Thank you.”
  5. Make it personal, “I appreciate you.”

How has gratitude, or the lack of it, impacted your leadership?

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