Selfless gratitude.. maketh you a recognised leader.

Posted by Tandarin Nike Friday, April 9, 2010 6:00 AM
Selfless gratitude; the ability to appreciate the goodness of life while simultaneously feeling deep empathy for the pain and suffering of others, is one of a leader’s most important qualities.

Yet the anxieties of a world rife with terrorism, economic uncertainty, illnesses, hunger, and injustice, can choke the lifeblood from one’s sense of gratitude.

What’s a leader to do?

In closely observing senior leaders from many different walks of life since last two decades, I have seen that genuine gratitude in the face of difficulty is an attribute, perhaps the attribute, that most distinguishes the great from the good.

There are three reasons gratitude is such an essential quality for men and women who are called to positions of service as leaders.

First, gratitude is the key to authentic emotional connection. Second, it is the basis for emotional resilience. Finally, the expression of genuine gratitude unlocks the door to discretionary effort.

Gratitude has been called the aristocrat of emotional connection. Great leaders such as Washington, Churchill, and Lincoln understood the importance of emotional connection.

Even evil leaders such as Hitler, Bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein had appreciation for the power of emotion, but misused it terribly.

“A leader persuades people through reason, but compels them to action through emotion.” And no emotion is more compelling than heartfelt thanks to those who give of themselves in service to a cause greater then their self interest.

If gratitude connects a leader deeply with others it is also a leader’s basis for personal resilience.

Leadership, as I know it, is hard work and is often a thankless task. A leader’s ability to persevere in the face of resistance requires enormous personal energy.

What is true for a leader is also true for those she or he leads. A legitimate expression of gratitude to others for who they are and what they are doing triggers enormous personal energy.

Gratitude is also essential for effective leadership for its ability to go beyond merely generating energy by evoking discretionary effort from others.

In a real sense all followers are volunteers. Even in a despotic situation a follower must ultimately choose to yield or resist.

A recent study by the Gallup Organization in US shows that only about 25 percent of workers are deeply engaged by their leaders; this disengagement has direct consequence with lost productivity.

A key factor in such disengagement is the fact that these workers do not feel valued or appreciated by their managers. When gratitude is appropriately expressed it evokes enormous voluntary effort in response.

In describing what God’s will is for us, an apostle once said, “Be joyous always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances. . .”

In today’s circumstances there can be no better advice for any leader.

2 Response to "Selfless gratitude.. maketh you a recognised leader."

  1. shivani Says:

    Hmmm! leadership and it's requirements...must pass it on to all the young turks i know who dream of making it big.:)

  2. Tandarin Nike Says:

    Yes!! Shivani, do pass it on to these young turks who have no gratitude for anything in todays busy world. Selfless gratitude pays huge dividends... albeit a bit late in life. Ask me....

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