This week we are celebrating Thanksgiving here in the United States. Families will get together, 46 million turkeys will be roasted or fried, tons of potatoes will be mashed, thousands of pies baked to perfection. Generally speaking, people will all eat more food than they should, while enjoying the company of family, friends, and some form of sports on TV. More importantly, though, at some point during the day, families will pause everyone will be given the opportunity to express gratitude for one or more blessing received in the past year. For those of us who are followers of Jesus, all thanks will go to God, our creator, Lord, and Savior.
It is a Beautiful Tradition
Consider this: Thanksgiving is a special holiday because it encourages the best in us – an attitude of gratitude. At least for one day, people will dig deep in their memories and find at least one reason to be thankful. Did you know that psychologists and researchers confirm what Scripture tells us: that we should “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for [us] in Christ Jesus.”
Gratitude is Good for Leadership
Did you know that gratitude is also a great leadership practice? Grateful leaders are more likely to succeed because an attitude of gratitude changes us and helps us lead better. Just consider the following:
Grateful leaders know where their leadership comes from. They recognize that influence isn’t the result of their ego, but a gift from God entrusted to them for His glory. The result: because they are faithful (and grateful) for the little God has given them, the Heavenly Father will entrust them with more and more influence.
Grateful leaders recognize that their people are their best asset. The result: these leaders will continuously invest and serve people, who, in turn, will be loyal and committed to their shared vision.
Grateful leaders are better servant leaders. Research has shown that people who are grateful are less likely to be jealous and know how to appreciate and celebrate other people’s success. The result: These leaders don’t feel threatened, and are better equipped to empower and serve others.
Grateful leaders deal with less conflict. This is another fact supported by psychological research. Thankful people are less prone to get into conflict. Besides that, gratitude is contagious – and grateful people don’t have much reason to pick fights.
Grateful leaders face less internal obstacles. A wrong concept of self (low self esteem) can make us our greatest enemies. Grateful people, on the other hand, have a stronger sense of value, which empowers them to lead more effectively.
Whether your culture celebrates thanksgiving or not, take a moment this week to celebrate God’s goodness and be thankful for all that He has done. It will bless you personally and strengthen your leadership.
And, of course, happy thanksgiving to all of you, from all of us on the Global ILI Team.