5 Ways to Find Gratitude Even While Facing Dissatisfaction

Successful leaders see the dark and the bright. Lousy leaders only see the dark.

Teams shrivel under the bitterness of ungrateful leadership.


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7 sources of ungratefulness in leadership:

  1. Dissatisfaction. The trouble is, I’ve never met a successful leader who was satisfied. Dissatisfaction provokes ungratefulness.
  2. Poor performance in others.
  3. Ignoring the 80% that’s good. Gratitude is mindfulness of advantage.
  4. Comparing what you don’t have with what others have.
  5. Arrogance. Arrogant leaders feel they deserve better.

Ungratefulness is a soft rotten patch on your banana.

5 ways to find gratitude even when you’re dissatisfied:

Think of gratitude as a practice, not simply a feeling.

  1. Separate compliment from complaint. ‘But’ is an erasure. You did a good job, but you could have… .
  2. Accept setbacks and screw-ups as a normal part of leadership. Stop fighting the past.
  3. Include ‘what’s working’ conversations in team meetings.
  4. Deal with tough issues. Just say, “Something doesn’t seem right,” to get the conversation going.  Don’t let problems build up. Pursue ‘better’ with gratitude.
  5. Go on gratitude walks. Look people in the eye. Mention something good. Say, ‘Thank you.’ (If you have trouble with this, write the names of your direct reports, bosses, and customers in one column. In the other column write two things that make you thankful.)

Silence when you feel ungrateful isn’t gratitude.

4 benefits of gratitude from leadership:

  1. Boldness in teams. Ungratefulness encourages doubt.
  2. Energy to try again. Ungratefulness drains resolve.
  3. Trust and connection. Ungratefulness weakens relationships.
  4. Belief in the future. Ungratefulness lives in the past.

Gratitude is the environment of boldness. Ungratefulness weakens you and your leadership.

How might leaders see both the dark and the bright?

How might leaders find and express gratitude?