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Effective Leaders are Grateful

We are all in a leadership learning curve.  The status quo no longer exists, and our new reality offers us opportunities lead with gratitude.  Why do I specifically mention gratitude?  Because there is so much confusion about the difference between being thankful and being grateful.

Being thankful and being grateful are often considered the same thing but they’re quite different. Being thankful is a feeling and being grateful is an action.

I woke up.  I felt thankful.  That is great.  I had a cup of coffee and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  It was delicious and I am thankful for my breakfast. 

Gratitude is quite different.  It is much more powerful than thankfulness. Gratitude can transform anything into anything. In my example, gratitude can turn a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich into a feast, and I have a lot of personal experience with that transformation.

In a world that is experiencing a pandemic that is still here, a quasi-vaccinated population, and lurking COVID-19 variants, gratitude is the superpower that can transform anything to anything. 

What we as leaders need to add to our skill set is the transformational power of gratitude… and a leadership philosophy that puts the needs of others first.

Dasher’s president, Tracey Glenn, sums this up nicely.  “Dasher has this aura that emanates from it that is so special and that has influenced me considerably.  Over the past 30 years, I’ve worked, and I’ve volunteered.  In all those years and positions, I’ve never shared my heart and experiences so openly with a group as I have at Dasher. 

“Each member of this team, no matter what their title, position, age, gender, race, etc. is here to support each other and the clients we serve.  We share celebrations and we share struggles.  We aren’t afraid to be real. I feel gratitude every day that I get to work in such a place and with the special people that make up the Dasher team.”

To lead with gratitude requires a commitment to a grateful lifestyle. Gratitude is a discipline that must be developed and cultivated within yourself. At Dasher, each member of the team gets a gratitude journals and time to write in them.

Another part of our gratitude practice at Dasher is our employee recognition program called, “Gotcha.” It is designed to catch people doing things right.  We are publicly acknowledging our teammates’ great efforts to live out our Dasher values. Recognizing people every day for their commitment to our culture gives everyone confidence that we are all walking the talk. 

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