The Five Freedoms of Gratitude
“Ingratitude is the essence of vileness.” Immanuel Kant
Ingratitude is weak, small, ugly, arrogant, and contagious. Unthankful leaders repel healthy followers.
Companions of ingratitude:
Gratitude is freedom.
Ingratitude is bondage to offenses, disappointments, and dissatisfaction.
- Inclusion. Grateful leaders include others. Ungrateful leaders say, “I’ll do it myself.”
- Effort. Gratitude is the context of excellence.
- Failure. People in thankful cultures dare to try and fail. Those who can’t fail never give their best.
- Resilience. Ingratitude drains. Gratitude energizes.
Tip: Be thankful for opportunities to make things better even when things are going poorly.
You explain what matters when you say thank you. Every expression of gratitude informs how you value people, behaviors, or results.
Gratitude is hard work until you realize the value of those around you.
The secret to being tough and tender is gratitude.
Tough leaders are jerks apart from gratitude. A thankful spirit makes you inviting to others even as you pursue excellence with tenacity. Gratitude is the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down.
- “I’m thankful for ….” Be thankful for something. Never just say thank you.
- Honor effort even when results disappoint.
- Explain meaning and impact after saying thank you. Tell them what it means to you or the company.
- Don’t add ‘buts’. Let gratitude stand on its own.
How can leaders overcome reluctance to express gratitude?
What suggestions do you have for leaders who are striving to get better at expressing gratitude?
Note: This post was originally posted 11/28/2013
YES! Be thankful for something… so important. The more specific the gratitude, the more it means. Gratitude sends important strategic messages. I am grateful for your kind and giving approach, while pushing me to consider and improve.
Thank you for speaking the truth as you see it. Your ideas about leadership enrich and enlighten me.
“Gratitude sends strategic messages” — Kaching!
Find a buddy to text 10 things you’re grateful for in the morning and ten in the evening. It gets the mind trained to be grateful.
Thanks kelsangdrima… love it.
Thank you Dan (no buts 😉 ) for this and daily doses of difference maker thoughts…
God bless you and your loved ones at Thanksgiving..
Thank you Ken,
I appreciate your insightful comments. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.
Ungrateful leaders are untruthful to others.I feel they remain so because they have something hidden not known to others. And they fear that sooner they become grateful or truthful to others, they will come to know their real agenda. That is why it becomes their strategy to remain ungrateful to others.
Leaders can overcome such practices by removing barriers and by accepting the reality. They should understand that others matter too. Fear of being exposed or failure is something that drive leaders to do so. So,they should understand that being what you are actually create trust and relationship.
I think leaders should treat others the way they want to be treated. They should inculcate a sense of understanding, empathy and sensibility. This will help them to understand self and to connect with others.
You really came at this from an interesting angle. Much appreciated.
I am thankful for you. Everyday your posts bring sometime helpful. Have a great day.
Thank you for being an encourager, Nancy
Leaders reluctant to express gratitude, in my experience, are usually doing so for one of two reasons: 1) keeping themselves scattered with too much work across too many mixed and unaligned priorities resulting in emotional fatigue or 2) are still living in the pre-historic authoritarian land of anti-vulnerability where expressing gratitude is strangely categorized as a sign of weakness that should never be evidenced.
I think gratitude begins with vulnerability and sincerely acknowledging that you need specific skill sets, time, and support of other individuals to succeed at a higher level. If you haven’t yet given in to vulnerability, then that will have to be your first step to really tap into the full potential of gratitude.
There’s a great Ted talk about vulnerability and how it holds one of the keys to happiness by Brene Brown. I can’t recommend it enough:
I’m a huge fan of Brene Brown’s work. Thanks for extending the conversation in such a useful way.
Liked your views on vulnerability. Some leaders deliberately remain inexpressive since they are inhuman and would like to show their superiority by keeping a distance from the followers. They are at times have an authoritarian type of working style. In my opinion, they have simply become leaders by way ownership or are given too much of powers to rule with full freedom.
The right post on Thanksgiving Day! You are just superb.
Expressing gratitude is a good thing and it’s a matter of good cultivated habit. Similarly, acknowledging thanks by way of an appreciation or carrying respect for a sender by the recipient is yet another good art which needs to be learn by many.
Humility is the essence of all good acts.
Thanks Dr. Asher,
I’m glad you offered the idea of healthy reception. It takes humility both to give and receive gratitude.
Dan, may I add “Sincerity” to your “5 Freedoms?”
Without sincerity, expressions of gratitude or appreciation become manipulation that is easily detected.
To set the record straight, I sincerely appreciate your articles, for content, yes, but even more for the way you present them. Simple and clear language that I can read easily and quickly.
I’m thankful that you are regularly sharing your insights. Sincerity is an essential for sure. We can smell a fake a mile away.
Leaders can overcome reluctance to expressing gratitude by watching Simon Sineks video on Vimeo called “Leaders Eat Last”. All other people too!
I learned when expressing gratitude oxytocin is flooded through my body!
Google oxytocin and see why you might want some of that!!
The other option is express fear and stress and you get cortisol running through your veins.
I communicate both verbally and nonverbally. Believe everyone else does too.
All very simple, it’s biological.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!!
SP back to my oxytocin now!!!!!
Sounds like expressing gratitude is healthy. Best wishes.
It is just cool to find out it is not how smart and brilliant we think we are!!!!
Our lives are simply driven by these chemicals!!! The more good we do the better we feel!!!
How awesome is that?? I change the world imagine how I will feel!!!!
Do right, do good Really good feeling chemicals released.
Just helps me understand crummy people seemingly getting ahead are feeling really lousy!! Goo for them!!!
Take care Dan
SP back to my oxytocin!! Man Simon is a smart guy.
Great post. I’m thankful that I can look forward to your words everyday.
Happy thanksgiving to you. I’m delighted you are a regular here. Much appreciated.
Happy Thanksgiving, Dan! Thanks for creating this wonderful blog that has really helped me remember to focus on what is right even in the face of great challenges and obstacles. Stay safe, Always Care, Paul
Gratitude has always been my favourite attitude ~ Thanks Dan 🙂
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