Grateful Leadership On Demand Course Survey Results Part 1

(Part 1 of 3 part series on Grateful Leadership On Demand Course Survey Results)

Ever since I started leading training and keynote sessions a decade ago about Leadership and The Power of Acknowledgment and then on Grateful Leadership, people have come to me after the programs and told me their stories about how they had actually left their excellent, even high-paying jobs due to: lack of appreciation!

I have always known that people need to feel appreciated, valued, praised for their contribution or else they would do a version of what I would call “corporate sulking.” They would carry out what they had to do to keep their jobs, but were never engaged, not profoundly connected to their organization’s mission or purpose. And then there were the ones who simply couldn’t bear to spend eight hours a day sulking, so they gave their notice and left, hopefully for a job that this time was within a culture of appreciation.

In the Grateful Leadership book, I wrote about the person who came up to me after a presentation and said with a big smile on her face, “I just quit my job and I’m going to go back to my former company, no matter what job they have available for me. I was appreciated there and felt that what I did made a difference! In the new company, with the better job title and higher salary, I was miserable. No one cared. No one noticed what I did or appreciated anything. I’m going back!”

I had heard so many stories like this one that I decided to put a survey into the Grateful Leadership On Demand course that IIL offered as part of International Project Management Day in November, 2015. Over 5,000 people participated in that course, and the results of the three survey questions all came directly to my email address. I figured I would get some responses, but the delightful result was that I was SLAMMED with responses! Some of the people included their sad stories with happy endings. Some asked to know the results once they were tabulated. So the chart shows the results of the first survey question – the two others will be revealed in subsequent articles

Can you imagine? Over half of the people surveyed responded that they had indeed left jobs in their career due to lack of appreciation. I started asking this question in audiences of 10, of 100 and 1,000. The results have been virtually the same: usually WAY OVER half of the people say they left their jobs due to lack of appreciation.

Can this be made any clearer? Through this important survey, we now have the empirical data to prove that people absolutely need to be acknowledged and appreciated in order to be engaged, to be loyal, to want to stay. I express my deepest appreciation to those of you who participated in this survey in the Grateful Leadership On Demand Course. Our thanks to all of you for THE EVIDENCE of something that I have always felt was true, but couldn’t say for sure was. And now I can!

It is ironic that corporations spend fortunes figuring out ways to retain, engage and develop their talent. What they need to do first and foremost is to APPRECIATE their people in a heartfelt and authentic way and to make sure that all leaders contribute to having, enhancing and increasing a culture of appreciation. Only then we will truly engage our people and achieve superior results. Only then we will have employee retention, loyalty and engagement unlike any we have seen in the past.

Have all of your people join the Center for Grateful Leadership ( and become part of this powerful community that has come together to make this vision a reality. We have a host of free tools and communications groups to support this available to all who join!

In the next article, I will give you the important results of Survey question #2.

#GivingTuesday: Sharing a Selfless “Selfie” with you!


Since 2012, this day has been labelled “Giving Tuesday.” It’s the Tuesday after  Thanksgiving in the United States, created to help put the holiday season emphasis on giving rather than on purely commercialized activities. The movement has gone international, and I want to highlight the wonderful form of giving that Grateful Leader Roberto Daniel, Managing Director of Cebi, Brasil has been practicing for nearly a decade! He is also one of the 11 superb leaders featured and profiled in the Grateful Leadership book. Here’s what he recently wrote to me when he sent me the “Selfie” you see:

“I acknowledged one of my best managers for his outstanding performance and the expectations he exceeded during this year. His name is Alessandro Valeriano and was given a nice gift: the Grateful Leadership book plus a candy box! He barely could hold back tears upon my feedback to him, which , indeed, made my day.”

Thank you Roberto, for your continuous generosity of heart, mind and spirit! I know you have been doing this for years, first with The Power of Acknowledgment and now with Grateful Leadership. We are so lucky to have you on our global “Make a Difference” team, and starting soon as a regular featured article contributor to our new Center for Grateful Leadership!

It’s a super idea to practice what Roberto does. GIVE your team members any one of the three books in the Acknowledgment Trilogy. To do so, visit the IIL Bookstore here, and use Discount Code GRATEFUL2016 for a 20% discount!

But It’s also incredibly valuable – and maybe even more so – to generously provide an acknowledgment or express your gratitude to someone TODAY – on Giving Tuesday – and every day!

Grateful Leadership in Politics?!

Wouldn’t it be great if Grateful Leadership were a “requirement” for holding political office?

Wouldn’t that lead to better circumstances for all throughout the world… and certainly make for some interesting conversations!?

Listen to some “person in the streets” interviews on this fascinating topic, conducted by Judy! And please give us your opinions, too!



It Takes a Village…

IIL Media Production crew (from left to right) Jordan James, Andrea Skipper, Rita Madison, Judy, Leroy Patton, Robert Hoffman, Luke Vermandel

IIL Media Crew Members (from left to right) Jordan James, Andrea Skipper, Rita Madison, Judy, Leroy Patton, Robert Hoffman, Luke Vermandel

Yes, it takes a village, this one consisting of a wonderfully talented and professional as well as supportive and kind IIL Media production crew, under the exceptional leadership of IIL Media Head D.B. Roderick, to produce a Grateful Leadership video for International Project Management Day (IPMDay) 2016!

The topic this year is “Grateful Leadership and Innovation,” one requested by the WIN (Women Innovating Now) Employee Resource Group at Alcon, a Novartis company.  In the research I did to make the dramatic connection between Grateful Leadership and Innovation, I discovered that a critical component of the ability to innovate is “psychological safety.” I’ve concluded that people experience this when they work in a climate of appreciation and gratitude. Take a “sneak peek” at an excerpt from this upcoming video, and I hope to see you all on November 3rd, the launch of IPMDay! Here’s a link to that exciting event:

Bursting with Pride…and with Promises!


I know I am being the quintessential Grandma when I share the photo of my granddaughter Lilith —  at her first day of kindergarten — with all of you. At 9:00 pm last night we FaceTimed — she was so excited about the wonderful first day she had experienced that she refused to get into her pajamas and out of her new first-day-of-school outfit. “Is the bus coming yet?” she wanted to know (yes, at 9:00 pm). “I can’t wait for the school bus to come and pick me up!” She continued telling my husband and me how much she had LOVED school! The joy I felt for her was beyond description (even for me! 🙂 ). And because I am speechless, I have to do something!. So I make my granddaughter — and all of the children who are just beginning their educational journey, or who are in the midst of it — this promise: I will do everything I possibly can — with the help of all of you who believe in the life enhancing and life-altering power of acknowledgment — to make sure that the educational experience is joyful for all.

I dedicated my book “You’re Totally Awesome, The Power of Acknowledgment for Kids” to Lilith when she was but a baby. Now I further commit to what I wrote in the Acknowledgments section for that book: “I dedicate this book to my two-year-old granddaughter, Lilith, who represents possibility, empathy and kindness. She is a real model for what the world can and will be like if we all have something to say about it — which we obviously do!”

I wrote that book to create a paradigm shift in education on a global basis, a shift from the pain of bullying to the power of acknowledgment. And this is happening. The book has just been translated into Portuguese through the efforts of a person just like you, one who believes that he can use its message to change the educational system in Brazil. Let’s make sure that all children can have a joyful journey of learning — every single child. And let’s all remember to acknowledge those who have our children’s love of learning in their hands — their precious teachers.

As IIL’s way of encouraging as many people as possible to engage in this paradigm shift, we are offering the book at a 50% discount for the next 30 days. Use discount code “joyfuljourney” when you click the book below to order!

poa for kids small

Let’s make sure that every child has the wonderful experience my granddaughter had on her first day of school…and hopefully for all their years of education to follow. Judy Umlas

Fanning the Flames


Jim Trela

Back in January, I got some examples from a participant in IIL’s Grateful Leadership On Demand course, of acknowledgments people had been invited to send, in one of the interactive exercises. It was called “The Knock Your Socks Off Power of Acknowledgment Exercise for Grateful Leaders.” James G. Trela, PMP, MBA, MS-IST and Sr. Project Manager at General Motors, gave two outstanding examples of what he had sent to people he worked with, and also described the impact of the course on him:

“Thank you for a profound course,” he wrote. “Your passion really came through as you hosted the on-demand course. It will leave a mark on my professional life and, hopefully, on those people I encounter.” I believe that IIL’s course only ignited and subsequently fanned the flame of desire to let people know they were appreciated that Jim had always felt, but not acted upon as regularly and profoundly as he would have liked.

Since January, when we first started emailing back and forth, I have seen the flame of Jim’s enthusiasm for this initiative being fanned and creating a great light. And without a doubt, it has grown higher and brighter since we started. The “evidence” of this became very clear when Jim, the proud developer of a podcast series called “The Production Line,” asked me to be a guest on the show. The dialogue, which I would like to share with all of you, was far-ranging, deep, inspirational and entertaining. Great job, Jim! And thanks for keeping the flame of Grateful Leadership burning bright! I am grateful!

(Click the image below to open the podcast in a new tab)