Gratitude: A Must Have Leadership Trait

You may be asking yourself what does gratitude have to do with leadership? All good leaders lead and lead well by setting a good example. The truism of “actions speak louder than words” is true for everyone and good leaders take it to heart. Good leaders are noticed and followers want to be like them. Consequently, when leaders express their gratitude, others will follow their lead.

Too many times have I heard that my manager or my boss does not show any appreciation for the work or effort I put into my job. You would think that one’s manager or boss would understand that the work performed by their direct reports reflects on them. If the direct reports perform well, then the manager/boss benefits from the work and effort performed. When that work and effort is acknowledged, it makes staff feel that their work and efforts make a difference. In short, their work has meaning.

Displaying gratitude does not require a plaque, a monetary award or dinner, but it does require a thank you and acknowledgement for a job well done. The manager’s attitude of gratitude sets the tone for the work environment. A work environment where gratitude is expressed has a tremendous motivational effect on employees. Displays of gratitude cause employees to work harder and take pride in their work. They want to do the best job they can because they know it will be appreciated.  Gratitude tells an employee that they are valued and wanted. When gratitude is expressed by management, employees are happier and want to contribute. The desire to contribute and an employee’s happy attitude are noticed by others, especially fellow workers. Gratitude, the quality of being thankful, becomes pervasive.

So, as this year comes to an end, be thankful for your staff and your patients. Without them you could not do your job and you would be out of work. So, too, be thankful for your spouse, children, and your family as well, as it is easy to overlook all they do for you. Express your thanks to them and they will be thankful for you!

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