A Treatise on Grateful Leadership and How it Complements Organizational Transformation




 If I hadn’t…  by Judy Umlas

If I hadn’t gone to my local post office to mail a copy of the newly published Grateful Leadership book…

If postal worker Diana Rodriguez hadn’t then taken a keen interest in the book as she was preparing it for mailing to my Executive Coach in the UK (I didn’t just slip it in an envelope for a US mailing).…

If she hadn’t been taking a course in Leadership in her Organizational Management program at Nyack College…

If she hadn’t taken my business card and then contacted me immediately for the e-File of the book I had offered to her (I do this often but rarely get taken up on it)…

If she hadn’t asked my permission to prepare a PowerPoint presentation for the class about Grateful Leadership (see linked blog post below which contains that presentation)…

If she hadn’t offered to connect Professor Hundley with me, which she did …

If he and I hadn’t enjoyed a lively conversation over a delicious breakfast in Nyack, NY…… then Professor Alfred A. Hundley, one of whose major academic interests is the comparative study of most effective Leadership Models, might not have learned about Grateful Leadership until much later on, and might not have written the very positive and insightful article about it that you see below!

Sometimes, seemingly inconsequential things just happen — in order to make great things happen! And I am truly grateful!


Guest Blog

A Treatise on Grateful Leadership and How it Complements Organizational Transformation by Alfred L. Hundley (September, 2015) 


Before we come to the conclusion that grateful leadership complements the transformative nature in organizations, we must look at the two leadership behaviors that grateful leadership builds on.

Transformational Leadership

According to Bass (1999), transformational leadership refers to moving the follower beyond immediate self-interests through idealized influence (charisma), inspiration, intellectual stimulation or individualized consideration. It elevates the followers’ level of maturity and ideals as well as concerns for achievement, self-actualization, and the well-being of others, organization, and society (Bass, 1999, p.11).

Servant Leadership

According to Laub (1999), “servant leadership is an understanding and practice of leadership that places the good of those led over the self-interest of the leader” (p.81).This definition was further expanded by adding the following descriptive framework. “Servant leadership promotes the valuing and development of people, the building of community, the practice of authenticity, the providing of leadership for the good of those led and the sharing of power and status for the common good of each individual, the total organization, and those served by the organization” (Laub,1999 p.81).

Grateful Leadership

Grateful leadership builds on both transformational and servant leadership behaviors by using the dimensions of transformational and servant leadership, and emphasizing authenticity in employing the essence of acknowledgement and gratitude. The notion here is to use authenticity to foster courage to make decisions; the willingness to take initiatives; the trust in the organization and fellow employees; and motivation to strive for continuous improvement (Umlas, 2013). The potential for grateful leadership to become a high order construct is the conceptualization of acknowledgement, in the context of organizational change, individual gratitude, and institutional gratitude which will help to foster organizational transformation.


So, grateful leadership appears to have the important hallmarks that help to complement the processes of organizational transformation. The defining elements to this argument are that organizational transformation is driven by a vibrant organizational culture; and that a vibrant organizational culture is sustained through an interaction with a leadership behavior that manifests authenticity to foster (1) the courage to make decisions;(2) the willingness to take initiatives (3); the trust in the organization and fellow employees; and (4) the motivation to strive for continuous improvement.

What remains for the future of grateful leadership is its validation as a theoretical construct and the development of a scale to measure its effect on organizational transformation (change), productivity, organizational effectiveness or any variable of interest to be studied.


Bass, B.M. (1999): Two decades of research and development on transformational leadership. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 8, 9-32 

Laub, J.A (1999): Assessing the servant organization: Development of an Organizational leadership Assessment (OLA) instrument. Dissertation Abstracts International, 60(02), 308A (UMI No. 999219220 

Umlas, J.W. (2013). Grateful leadership: Using the power of acknowledgement to engage all your people and achieve superior results (1st Edition). McGraw Hill: New York


Alfred L. Hundley has over 15 years corporate experience in both public and private sector organizations, and has held senior and executive level managerial positions as well as serving as a corporate trainer, before transitioning to the world of academia. Hundley is a Professor of Business and Leadership at Nyack College. He has been teaching in higher education for over 14 years. His scholarly interests are in leadership and organizational studies, specifically studying organizational development and change issues. 

(Professor Hundley plans to write a future article titled: “How Do Grateful Leadership and Appreciative Inquiry Coalesce to Impact on an Organization’s Transformation?”)  


Read more about how Judy and Professor Hundley began their relationship here!


Taking the Opportunity to Acknowledge the Person Who Set Me on My Path: Joan Lunden!

Judy with Joan Lunden

Joan and Judy at Books and Greetings in Northvale, NJ


Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to acknowledge someone who truly made a difference in the path I took in life, and the fantastic career that has come about as a result of it! That was Joan Lunden, Host of the network television show Good Morning America. Those of you who have read the Grateful Leadership book know the story, but for the rest of you, I will cite the very first thing I wrote in the book:

From: Grateful Leadership, Using the Power of Acknowledgment to Engage All Your People and Achieve Superior Results, co-published by McGraw-Hill and IIL © 2013

Excerpt from Chapter 1  “I’m Mad as Hell!” to Acknowledgment Activist:

Years ago I was troubled by the way people spoke to me or acted

toward me at my job at CBS Television while I was pregnant. So I

wrote an article for Working Woman magazine entitled “How NOT to

Talk to a Pregnant Businesswoman.”1 Overnight, I became the authority

on this subject, appearing on Good Morning America and a multitude

of radio stations.

I achieved this notoriety simply because no one else was talking

about this phenomenon publicly. I had only opened my mouth (or

poised my pen) and offered some commonsense, no-brainer (at least

to me) “rules” of communication to create a more respectful environment

in the workplace.” 

Once I saw the power not only of the written word to describe a negative condition, but the phenomenal way that getting the word out can actually change that condition, I knew the power of this combination (for years people told me they took that article once they heard about it and passed it around at work, creating real change in their environments). And this was thanks to the fabulous interview the host of Good Morning America, Joan Lunden, conducted with me on the daily show that seemed to reach the entire world! So when I heard that Joan Lunden herself was coming to a bookstore near me to do a signing on her inspirational new book Had I Known, A Memoir Of Survival (Harper Collins ©2015), I  knew I had to go and personally acknowledge her for the huge opportunity she created for me. And, when you think about it, she created it also for the rest of the people in the world who have benefitted from the messages of my books on The Power of Acknowledgment and Grateful Leadership. If I HADN’T KNOWN that writing about something and then speaking about it and creating tools for change could make a huge difference in a condition in the world, I would never have written these three books on a subject that started out being as painful to me as the improper communications and gestures by colleagues when I was pregnant at work. The subject was the LACK of acknowledgment of people at work, in families, in communities and throughout the world. I saw examples of this all the time, and it hurt me on a deep and personal level. But I knew from my experience with Joan Lunden that I could actually CHANGE THE WORLD!!! And when I see the results of the work that I do with and through IIL and its many platforms for transformation, I celebrate this and the fact that Joan and the staff of Good Morning America, who originally approved me as a guest, really gave me my chance!

So to Joan Lunden, and on behalf of all of the people who have benefitted from my work over the years, my heartfelt, deepest appreciation and gratitude for showing me the way!

Check out Books and Greetings Book store here!

See more about Joan’s book by clicking here:



My Unexpected Connection to 9/11/01 in a New Found Land

My holiday trip to Newfoundland, located in Canada, was the direct result of the pronouncement of a new friend, Chris Norman (Click Here for A Random Act of Acknowledgment), after spending three months there, that the people of this area were the friendliest in the world. So when I told him we were going to go and check this out for ourselves, he sent a mass email to all of his “newfound” friends, and told them to open their hearts and their homes to his friend, Judy, and her husband Bob, who were planning a trip as a result of his recommendation. And they did, but that’s another story…

During our travels, we found our way to the town of Gander. This was at the suggestion of other friends who assumed that we knew of the vital role the residents of Gander and surrounding communities had played when thousands of travelers from Europe (including many Americans) became stranded there after New York airspace was closed on 9/11/01. I didn’t know the details of the story, so as soon as we arrived, I decided to do my research. We went right to the North Atlantic Aviation Museum in Gander, where we saw evidence of the amazing account of the 6,700 passengers, a number almost equal to the total population of Gander (10,000), who were stuck in the Gander International Airport as their mandatory “stopover.” No one was allowed to leave the planes, because they and their baggage had to be carefully checked to make sure there were no additional dangerous people or items aboard. But finally, they were allowed to disembark, and here’s what happened, according to the report of the office of the Mayor at the time, Claude Elliott, who is still the current Mayor:

As word of the arriving aircraft spread throughout the community, donations of bedding and food began pouring in, even before arrangements could be made for collection and distribution. The still-new Gander Community Centre quickly became the main staging point.

Businesses were equally quick to step up. The local Canadian Tire store filled a truck with whatever stock they imagined stranded travelers might need, and Wal-Mart management ordered its cashiers to ring up purchases as usual, but to accept no payment from the “plane people”, as they would become known. Two local pharmacies would spend much of the next week verifying and filling prescriptions for the stranded passengers, again at no charge.

What amazed me the most, though, was the way in which the residents of Gander opened their homes, their hearths — and most importantly — their hearts to the stranded people.

“It truly was a community effort in every sense,” Mayor Elliott insists. “What the terrorists accomplished on September 11 only brought us closer together and gave us the opportunity to show the world how easy it is to bring care and comfort and how hard it is to break our spirit.”

Click Here for the Report

When I saw the television news reports in the museum, and heard what Mayor Elliott had to say about this effort, I knew I had a job to do! I then had the audacity to go directly to the Mayor’s office. There, with the able assistance of his Media Coordinator Greg Seaward, I gave him both a copy of The Power of Acknowledgment and my profound appreciation of and acknowledgment for the people of Gander and surrounding communities for the role they played during that incredibly challenging time.

Below is the video my husband took of this presentation to the Mayor, while we stood together before a piece of steel from the collapsed World Trade Center buildings, widely considered the most sacred symbol of the 9/11 experience.


Mayor Elliott summarized the power of this incredible generosity and caring displayed by all of the people of this area:

“One woman told me when she was leaving that September 11 showed us the very worst of mankind, but that her time in Gander restored her faith in humanity and that here she saw the very best of mankind,” he relates. “I can think of no better legacy from those events than the message to the world that hope and compassion will always triumph over hatred and violence.”

For all of this, I am truly grateful! Again, my belated, but deeply personal thanks and acknowledgment to all who participated in this effort!

One more very important acknowledgment! On this day, the anniversary, I want to send my thoughts and prayers to all those who were lost on this tragic day along with my thanks and deepest appreciation to everyone out there that did their part to help all those in need.

A Random Act Of Acknowledgment

It’s always so inspiring when I come upon what I would call “Random Acts of Acknowledgement” in my everyday life. I was staying at a hotel while on a business trip, and overheard the delightful exchange you can see in the video below… well almost! In actuality, I just happened to be sitting there having a quick bite, when I witnessed it. I was practically moved to tears — it was something that could have been a “how to” right out of any of the books I have written. In fact it was so wonderful that I acknowledged both the giver and the receiver in this exchange, told them about The Power of Acknowledgment in 10 brief seconds, and then (I know you won’t believe this…) I had the audacity to ask them to “reenact” the exchange that had just taken place, so that I could shoot a cell phone video of it!!! I requested that they do it just the way I originally saw it. Please click the link to see what I’m so excited about!

Click Here to Watch the Random Act of Acknowledgment

My heartfelt appreciation goes to Chris, the magnificent acknowledgment bestower, and to Julieta, the lovely waitress and grateful recipient. I later learned that Chris had sought her out again in order to introduce her personally to the owner of the hotel, whom he had spent some time getting to know. He wanted to make sure that her service could be further acknowledged, in a way that would truly make a difference for her! I was told that the owner, in turn, gave her a huge hug and let her know how proud he was of her.

I was also proud to be a witness to the “reenacted,” yet equally moving exchange! It was truly a Random Act of Acknowledgment! Please send us descriptions of yours!

CAR CHASE: “Driven” to Acknowledge!

I was running a bit late for a doctor’s appointment this week, and was on a major thoroughfare on which traffic was fortunately flowing. So I wouldn’t be too late… But suddenly, the car two ahead of mine slowed down and then came to a gentle but complete stop — there was no traffic light or other reason to stop that I could see. I waited rather impatiently until the “reason” emerged — a stooped over, elderly lady with a cane who was walking about one step every few seconds as she crossed in front of the long line of cars! Not a horn was honked! Instead, we all waited patiently now for that lady, who was truly taking her life in her hands, to cross the very wide road. Once she had crossed completely to the other side, not just gotten through the lineup of cars, the first driver took off with some speed. I raised my hands in applause above my head, but knew the driver would not see my appreciation. I hoped that the other cars behind me would, though.

I was already late for my appointment, but I suddenly felt “driven” to FOLLOW THAT CAR!!! I needed to tell the driver that what he or she had done was truly an act of kindness and consideration, and how moved I was by that action. So I edged out in front of the second car (I was the third) and sped up to catch up to the lead car. I could see the clock ticking and my appointment time getting farther and farther in the distance, but I was compelled. With relief, after several minutes, I saw the car turn into a supermarket parking lot and I pulled into a spot right near the one the driver took and parked. The driver emerged, and energized by my enthusiasm, I walked up to the person, a woman I could see now, with determination. I called out “Miss!” to her and she turned around with some surprise.

What I told her was this: “I was two cars behind you when you stopped to allow that elderly woman to cross the highway.  I have to tell you that what you did was an amazing and caring act of kindness. I just HAD to thank you for what you did and for the example you set for all of us behind you. No one was honking you, or trying to get you to move on!” She got misty-eyed, as did I, and reached out to take my hand. Though she was from another culture and seemed to have a bit of difficultly with the language, we were definitely speaking the same language. We spoke it with our eyes and we spoke it with our hands. Then she said, “I was just doing what anyone would do! It was the right thing to do!”

“Yes,” I said, “but many people would not do what you did, even though it was definitely the right thing to do. And that’s why I had to follow your car, even though I wasn’t coming here, and tell you personally how much that meant to me.”  Her face lit up, which lit me up! She thanked me several times for letting her know how I felt. And I let her know that it was my honor and my pleasure.

And that folks is the Power of Acknowledgment! But you don’t have to go on a “wild” (for me) car chase to do so; it just shows that opportunities are all around us to let others know the difference they make and how this moves and inspires us!

(Oh, and by the way, that really is my car and that IS my license plate!)

Is Judy losing her mind…or just her fear?

In the spirit of putting together my IPMDay 2015 keynote address focused on the 5th C of Acknowledgment for Grateful Leaders: Courage (“From Cowardly Lion to Lion-Hearted Leader”), I have been thinking a lot about what stops us from doing the brave and inspiring things we want to and are able to do. That would include acknowledging and appreciating our people in a heartfelt, authentic and profound way, even when it makes us feel vulnerable!  So I must admit that when I was offered the opportunity the last time I was conducting Grateful Leadership training at Volvo Construction Equipment to drive a massive earth mover, I think I found my schedule to be “just too tight” to accommodate this incredible adventure. But this time, when I was there to co-lead a Grateful Leadership Book Club session with Michelle Madsen, Delivery Specialist, Volvo Group University, I was thinking a lot about overcoming fear or else doing what we want to do that terrifies us … doing it in spite of our fear. So this time I ASKED to drive a massive earth mover! I must have been out of my mind. But the kind and courageous Wade Turlington, Director of Volvo’s Customer Center said, “Of course!” and volunteered to risk his life and limb to sit next to me as I drove.  So after the great book club session we had, I mustered up my courage and drove the A35G Articulated Hauler that they provided!!! (My family members will tell you how they feel like THEY are risking life and limb when they drive with me in my normal vehicle). And ooooooooh, that was some wild and crazy ride on that A35G! It was also transformational. If I could do that, I knew I could do virtually anything, since I was taking on the challenge of doing something so out of my normal reach. Okay, so hang gliding is NOT up my alley. But name something else and maybe I will try it. In the meantime, you can overcome YOUR fear, muster up your courage as I did,  and deliver heartfelt acknowledgments wherever they are truly deserved. Have a ball doing what terrifies you — it is a heck of a good ride! And my thanks and deepest gratitude to Volvo Construction Equipment for allowing me to do this!!!

Behind the Scenes of my International Project Management Day Keynote Taping: From Cowardly Lion to Lionhearted Leader!

I worked as a television producer and writer at WCBS-TV for about a dozen years. I know the workings of a TV studio inside and out. So that should make my keynote videotaping a piece of cake for me, right? Wrong! I worked on the “other side of the camera,” so I can’t begin to describe the agony I always put myself (and everyone around me) through in past years to make sure my IPMDAY presentation is perfect, and then I never feel like it is!

But this year, I made a choice: I was going to be as passionate in my presentation to the IIL Media crew and cameras as I would normally be before an audience of hundreds, or even thousands of people, which doesn’t throw me much at all. I would let my passion, mission and purpose come through even though I was addressing inanimate objects (the cameras).

I have to tell you that IIL Media, headed up by Emmy award-winning producer and director d.b. Roderick, cared as much about my presentation as I did! Coordinating Producer Andrea Skipper worked with me for weeks getting the script just right, the visuals dramatic and attention-grabbing. Leroy Patton was meticulous with the lighting and camera work. Andres Valencia (I later learned) was operating the teleprompter for the first time due to a last minute substitution. He did a great job, considering! Then there was Andrea Johnson, Production Manager, who made sure to tell me that the darts in my skirt were crooked and to please fix them. She also made me change my outfit to something all felt was much more suited to my “colorful” personality. I did as she suggested!

The really great part, though, was that I actually felt as though I was addressing live people when I spoke, due to the attention and true listening I received from this delightful crew. And at the end, they spontaneously broke into applause. I was exhilarated and felt like I had broken through my own barriers to full self-expression in front of cameras rather than people. This crew – this wonderful group of people – made it possible for me to connect, and I saw that my message resonated with all of them.

I also give my thanks to the whole IIL crew outside the studio that made this year’s production work so well for me: IIL Marketing, including ShaunMara Begley who found some of the great images used in my presentation; Kaylin Berry, who works with me on all social media projects so successfully with me on social media projects and posts (such as this one!); Lori Milhaven, EVP of Marketing who takes everything in her stride and just gets the word out to the world; Nolan Voss, Sr. Graphic designer who makes everything look so artistic and beautiful; Gregory Johnson, VP Enterprise Solutions who is always a great sounding board/idea person for any of my new and venturesome content creations; and CEO E. LaVerne Johnson who tolerated my trepidation and numerous pleas for her to read my updated script “just one more time…”

Now I will ask you to be the judge of the final result when you attend International Project Management Day 2015: Ensuring a Sustainable Future on November 5th. I would like YOU tell me if I have truly grown greater than my constraints. As noted author Jack Canfield wrote, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” I think I really took that message to heart with this year’s presentation, and hopefully all of you will take it to heart and be the beneficiaries as well!.

There will be a live Q&A at the end of my keynote session during which we can all have some conversation! And you can register now for this great event (there are 38 other thought leaders and Project Management, Leadership and Sustainability practitioners who are presenting). If you do register now, you can get exciting updates from IIL about and until the Big Event! Hope to see you there!

Until the next time…

Register for IPMDAY Here »


Grateful Leadership: A Tool to Build Engagement

By Joanna Durand, Citi Managing Director, GPMO Head, CPMC/SEPG Chair

On June 9, I visited the International Institute for Learning (IIL), to film a segment on Grateful Leadership, with Judy Umlas. Judy, a Senior Vice President at IIL, is an expert on the concept of Grateful Leadership. In fact, she literally wrote the book on it, titled, as you might expect, Grateful Leadership.

We sat down for a few minutes to discuss Grateful Leadership.

What is Grateful Leadership?

On page 9 of her book, Judy introduces the concept of Grateful Leadership by saying the following: “I believe we are on the verge of creating the next wave of vision, inspiration, workability and success in leadership, which will turn many current ideas and philosophies of leadership upside down: Grateful Leadership.”

Judy’s Grateful Leadership model refutes former models calling for employees to be grateful to their leader (the “just be thankful you have a job” line of reasoning), pointing out that Grateful Leaders will realize much more success by having engaged employees. Judy goes on to say on page 9, “Grateful Leaders are those who see, recognize, and express appreciation for their employees’ and other stakeholders contributions and for their passionate engagement, on an ongoing basis.” She continues on page 11, “By creating a culture of appreciation… in which people truly feel valued, these leaders motivate their followers to strive for continuous improvement and always greater results.

Isn’t this the core of what leaders want?

Employee loyalty is tied to feeling respected and validated, and people are more likely to continue working every day in a place where they are part of a fundamental practice of recognizing and acknowledging one another’s value. Conversely, if we do not practice grateful leadership, while we might not lose people right away, people will lose interest and start looking elsewhere if they feel that they are not acknowledged and validated.

It’s Not Just for Managers

One does not need to be a manager to lead, and one does not need to be organizationally at the forefront to be a leader. The tenets of Grateful Leadership are useful and applicable for all sorts of leaders, including those of us who are parents, and those of us who need to interact with others regularly.

The Practical Applications of Grateful Leadership

In my role, I have the opportunity to put Grateful Leadership concepts into practice every day. A few of the ways I lead by these concepts and practice them with my team include:

• Making an effort to meet as many team members in person as I can
• Implementing changes as a result of employee feedback to improve employee experience
• Encouraging people on the team to nominate others for awards, and dedicating time in our quarterly team meetings to formal and informal recognition
• Sending personal thank-you messages and other forms of recognition to individuals on the team when they go above and beyond

It Isn’t Always Easy Being a Grateful Leader

One of the topics Judy touched upon in our interview was that it’s not always easy to be a Grateful Leader. Here are two major reasons why:

• Grateful Leadership (and grateful behavior) takes a willingness to be vulnerable. For a manager, this could look like someone wanting a raise when you offer praise. For a non-manager, the vulnerability is required because you are saying something personal about yourself, and any personal revelation takes strength.
• Grateful Leadership takes commitment. It needs to be deliberately practiced or, in the pressure of our individual roles, we can get swept up – and swept away from practicing acknowledgement/ validation. We must avoid the trap of saying we are too busy, or we just forgot.

Move Forward into Grateful Leadership

Like mastering any new skill, or beginning any new and deliberate practice, Grateful Leadership takes discipline. Start small, by acknowledging someone in the moment when it occurs to you to do so. Or, as Judy suggests, acknowledge someone you wouldn’t normally think to acknowledge. In either case, choose something personal that you believe will resonate with the person you are acknowledging.

I look forward to many more conversations with Judy, and I am grateful to IIL for being an excellent partner over the years.

Originally posted on Citi’s internal enterprise social media platform.

Joanna Durand is a Managing Director at Citi; she has been with Citi for more than eight years, having joined in February 2007. In August 2009, Joanna was named Citi’s Head of Global Program Management. Joanna has over 20 years of diverse leadership experience in global financial services organizations.

Joanna chairs the Citi Program Management Council and Software Engineering Process Governance (CPMC-SEPG), a formally chartered enterprise-wide governing body focusing on Enterprise PM Domain Governance.  She also heads the Global Program Management Office (GPMO),  which acts as the execution arm of the CPMC/SEPG.

Vulnerability as Espoused by Brené Brown is a Key to Grateful Leadership

Judith W. Umlas proudly poses at Book Expo America with celebrated author, speaker and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate Collage of Social Work, Brené Brown. In all of her Grateful Leadership courses and keynotes, Judy references the ground-breaking working of Brené Brown on the power of vulnerability. Brown was at BEA introducing her new book called Rising Strong – The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.


The jacket of Brown’s new book says, “The physics of vulnerability is simple: If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall. Rising Strong is a book about what it takes to get back up and how owning our stories of struggle gives us the power to write daring new endings.” This, by the way, is the message of Judy’s upcoming International Project Management Day Keynote address: From Cowardly Lion to Lionhearted Leader. Judy firmly believes that we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable in order to communicate heartfelt, profound and generous acknowledgments to all of our stakeholders who truly deserve them. Only then do people feel really valued and know that they are working in a culture of appreciation. This makes all the difference toward creating an environment of engagement, wellbeing and bottom line results.


Brown’s work is “evidence” for the power of vulnerability for the tens of thousands of people who have participated and continue to take part in Grateful Leadership and The Power of Acknowledgment sessions.

Passing the Grateful Leadership Torch!


For many years, whenever Judith W. Umlas, Grateful Leadership and The Power of Acknowledgment Author and Trainer has led courses and keynote sessions at companies around the world, she has often been approached by very enthusiastic participants who want to become certified to lead this transformational, high-impact initiative in their companies. They want the results that are achieved with one group of leaders made available throughout their companies, and they see this as the most efficient, cost-effective way to make this happen. But Umlas was concerned that this material could not be taught with her passion and commitment by others. Finally, at a training session she led for at Volvo Construction Equipment (one of numerous sessions she has led for this global company), Michelle L. Madsen, Delivery Specialist, Volvo Group University stepped forth and said she had to be certified! She was both single-minded and purpose-driven, and since the Train the Trainer Certification program had to be built from scratch, it took six months until she was able to teach her first class. Judith was extremely proud of the results as she observed the session (part of the certification program), and was a witness as Michelle achieved all 9s and 10s in her evaluations. Even more significantly, participants commented on how much they loved the passion she expressed for Grateful Leadership. They were truly motivated and inspired! If you see it as your passion, mission and/or purpose to create a culture of appreciation in your company, in which people feel valued and work to their fullest capacity, then maybe you, too, have to become certified! Contact judy.umlas@iil.com if this is of interest.  And please read the blog post about this exciting new IIL initiative: http://www.gratefulleadership.com/passing-the-torch-2/