Today’s post is the feature article from the November 2003 issue of The Front Porch Newsletter. If you would like to automatically receive The Front Porch e-newsletter on the last Thursday of each month just click here to sign-up for your complimentary subscription.
It is much more than a cliché. It would serve as a great theme for November, as we celebrate Thanksgiving later this month. More importantly, it may serve as a meaningful core value for any organization. I was attending a Leadership Summit this past summer. There were some great speakers, including Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great”. But Erwin McManus, the Lead Pastor and Cultural Architect for Mosaic in Los Angeles was the most memorable. He shared great insight on many fronts, but the one that really caught my attention was his message on gratitude. It got me thinking A LOT about genuine gratitude. I looked in the mirror, I thought about my children and then I wondered about the impact it might have in organizations. I’m not talking about the routine “thank you — we appreciate your business” that we might deliver without much thought. But rather, genuine gratitude. I wondered about the times I have failed, in this fast-paced world, to be truly grateful for certain relationships, experiences and resources. I pondered how we teach gratitude to our children in an environment that, by its very nature, nurtures a sense of entitlement. And then I imagined what the culture of an organization might be like if they made and lived with genuine gratitude as one of their central values. As I thought about it, I couldn’t think of one organization where gratitude was actually listed as a core value. Imagine, customer service initiatives based on gratitude. Employee relations and retention efforts standing on the foundation of gratitude. Respect kept alive because of gratitude. The benefits of developing a conscious and consistent practice of gratitude could be profound at a personal and organizational level.
Action Idea: Use this Thanksgiving Holiday to recommit to a personal sense of gratitude. Bring that sense of gratitude to work as a model for others. And finally, plant the seed for adding gratitude to your organization’s list of core values!!