“’When Elizabeth started coaching me, the very first thing she taught me was also the most important thing she taught me.
“‘Have a kind and generous spirit, George,’ she said. ‘A kind and generous spirit always wins. And you know why that is?’
“’I didn’t, of course. I never know the answers to the questions she asks.'”
“Gillian could easily imagine that. The woman had a sort of oracular quality. Sphinx in a hairnet.”
“The Coach turned to face Gillian. ‘Because,’ she said, ‘gratitude is the secret to all magnificent success.’”
No time for gratitude:
Ambulance drivers don’t say please and thank you. Pressure and stress cause us to act like ambulance drivers.
Pressure and stress make gratitude feel inconvenient.
Being driven is another exemption from saying thank you. Driven people have too much to get done to ‘waste’ time expressing gratitude.
Pushy leaders prioritize goals over people.
Higher ups pressure you.
Direct reports don’t get it.
It’s all a formula for frustration that makes gratitude seem irrelevant.
The care and feeding of an ox:
Good people – like oxen – love to pull hard. When the load gets heavy, they dig in. They’re reliable, consistent, and hardworking. But if you crack the whip and just ride the cart, they resent you.
Gratitude is food for the soul.
When you expect a lot, give a lot.
4 ways to feed an ox:
- Pull with the team. How might you let the team know you’re pulling with?
- Don’t minimize people’s frustration. Empathy strengthens connection.
- Use empathy as a platform to turn conversations toward action. What are we/you going to do next?
- Let gratitude stand on its own. Don’t ask what’s next every time you say thank you.
How might you give a lot today?
Do you lean toward expecting a lot or giving a lot?