It is a foundational tenet of life and leadership, and yet one that is often overlooked in importance. It is the principle of gratitude.
While most well-mannered people verbally express a thank you for kind deeds, the art of written expressions of gratitude is rare.
In similar fashion, leaders are often recognized for their efforts; yet there are unsung heroes behind each leader.
In a recent interview, Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, talked about a lesson she learned about the principle of gratitude and the practice of expression. It came about when someone took the time to recognize her parents for her accomplishments in business. The expression of gratitude for the “power behind the leader” was transformational. It meant more to her than being thanked personally for her work.
As a result, she now takes the time to personally send a letter of gratitude to the parents of her executive team members, recognizing their contribution to the executive’s success. The response has been amazing – both from parents and the executives.
Do you have someone on your team who is making a notable contribution?
Have you expressed your gratitude to them in writing?
Beyond that, have you taken the time to thank the parents, teachers, or mentors who helped them become the person they are?
Great leadership is not about being served. It is about serving those who serve the organization. And even greater leadership is recognizing the efforts of those who built those leaders in the first place.
John C. Maxwell, in his book, The Five Levels of Leadership, talks about the highest level of leadership, legacy. Your successful leader is the result of legacy leadership of parents, teachers, and mentors.
This Thanksgiving, yes, take some time to thank your team…in writing. And, beyond that, consider thanking their parents, teachers, and mentors for their contribution to each person’s success.
To the principle of gratitude, add the practice of expression.
For resources on how you can you can best lead your team of leaders, click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Communication Impact Report.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.