Finding a Platform for Our Passion … and Being Grateful For It

A few years ago, our publishing team was trying to find the right title for the book that McGraw-Hill and IIL were co-publishing about acknowledgment. All of my previous training work and speaking engagements had been titled “Leadership and the Power of Acknowledgment,” based on the first book, The Power of Acknowledgment. Because of this, I quite naturally assumed it would also become the title of the next book. However, when the suggestion of Grateful Leadership was thrown into the ring, goose bumps shot from my head to my toes. That, for me, was the Truth Test. I knew it was right and jumped on it!

gratefulSo what do you do when you think you have a perfect title? Of course, you Google it. Admittedly, I did so with my eyes partially closed, because I didn’t want to see the zillions of books, articles, blog posts, etc. with those words in them. I didn’t want to have to give up on it. But imagine my shock (and delight) to have gotten what is known as a “Googlewhack”—a “Google search query consisting of exactly two words without quotation marks, that returns exactly one hit,” as Wikipedia puts it. It was a NASA blog post about how people should remember to be grateful leaders on Thanksgiving! Following this, Grateful Leadership was happily accepted by the IIL team and McGraw-Hill.

Today, if you were to search “Grateful Leadership” you would see that about 29,000,000 results pop up on Google. If you check out these “hits,” many of them have to do with either the book or my blog, keynotes and courses. So, what has happened in this time to create such a fantastic result? It’s simple … YOU happened.

So here is what I am extremely grateful for on this Thanksgiving—as I try to be on every day of the year, every minute of the day (lest we forget, I am human). I am grateful for both the platform that IIL has created for this message to be seeded all over the world and to have it take root in so many places I am not even aware of, and also for the readers and highly vocal supporters of this message. Without those who believe wholeheartedly that Grateful Leadership can make a difference, those 29,000,000 results would not exist.

I sincerely believe that we all have to find platforms for the passions that thrive and drive us. If you believe that Organizational Survival is at stake if we don’t make serious changes in the way we do business, you write a hard-hitting book, as my colleagues Greg Balestrero and Nathalie Udo have done. If you know of communities in which families are going hungry, you volunteer your time in soup kitchens or make donations to an organization that champions these causes. If you have a child who is being bullied in his or her school, you get actively involved in stopping this kind of behavior, even if it means you have to donate a great deal of your personal time, focus and energy to this critical cause. Whatever it is we believe in must find its platform for action somehow.thanksgiving

I am very grateful for the people who helped along the way to put this belief into action—both the staff of IIL and the outsiders who help continue to spread the word. You ALL allow this message to make the difference it is supposed to make in the world.

On this Thanksgiving Day, I wish that we can all find platforms for our passions, and then be grateful for them every minute of every day.

With Gratitude,

Judy Umlas