Grateful Leadership Challenges In Today’s Business World

Harry Waldron is a member of the Center for Grateful leadership. He actively shares in the fields of project management and technology. This article shares how grateful leadership principles can strengthen teamwork and improve individual morale.

The Grateful Leadership movement is an affirmation approach that can improve morale. Appreciation is a lost art that is needed in our business community and society today.  As a general rule, it should be easy to say “thank you” – as it will encourage team members and foster productivity in the workplace.   However, Gratitude comes naturally for many leaders as a learned childhood behavior. And for all others — it is never too late to learn.  That educational need is why the Center of Grateful Leadership was created.

The field of Project management consists of a technical and human side. The technical side is more a science that is well addressed by several methodologies. Managing people is more difficult.  Grateful leadership principles can be a tool that encourages team members to make a difference on projects.

Three key challenges in moving to better grateful leadership practices include:

  1. The organization culture is strict, where the art of appreciation is often neglected
  2. Traditional line management focuses more on power and authority
  3. Grateful leadership needs to be inclusive beyond just the top performers

The first challenge is the strict environment. A spirit of gratitude may be missing. Leaders may be under tremendous pressure and may be transferring some of that to others.  It is vital for that firm to see the risk of losing valuable team resources. Instead, when individuals work together in synergy and appreciation of each other – it can make a difference.

The second challenge is that line managers may fear a “surrender of power”. Employees are expected to be at work promptly and work productivity throughout the day.  They are getting paid for their services.  However, grateful leaders acknowledge contributions beyond the paycheck itself to better motivate the team.  There is power in positive thinking, as reflected in Norman Vincent Peale’s great book decades ago.

The third major challenge is to ensure acknowledgement of team members. Often, leaders may recognize the superstars only.  Those contributing behind the scenes may be accidentally missed.  It is important to acknowledge the team as a whole, plus affirm each member uniquely according to their contributions. Every person in the company from the janitor to the CEO has a vital role, so we must be inclusive.

Grateful leaders create effective teamwork, synergy and bottom line results. One ancient example shares that 10 individuals were healed – and that nine failed to come back and say thank you.  The role model for the grateful leader is to be the thankful one.