Learning to lead can be tough. What’s the best way to lead through change, or a crisis? Complex issues like these can test even a seasoned leader.
But certain aspects of leadership are so simple that it seems silly to even write about them. I’m learning, however, that mastering these seemingly “little” things is what transforms good leaders into great leaders.
A leader who consistently shows gratitude creates a culture where people feel cared for, appreciated and valued. It’s so basic, we’re tempted to think it’s really not that big of a deal to not say “thank you.” And yet, the opposite is true. It’s transformational.
I’m learning this first-hand here in the Penn State women’s basketball office. Because Coach Washington so quickly expresses thanks for even small things that her staff does, I’ve noticed that others follow suit. I’m regularly thanked for doing things that are expected of me and are written in my job description. Yet the “thank you” reminds me that my work isn’t taken for granted.
People who feel appreciated work harder, remain loyal and enjoy their jobs more. Everyone in this office uses “please” and “thank you” and it makes such a difference in the culture. There’s a team spirit here that makes it an enjoyable place to work. And that positive culture starts with our staff feeling like their roles matter—a feeling generated by our leader maintaining a genuinely grateful spirit.
How do you show gratitude to others on your team? What difference have you seen it make?