We have all seen the scenario – as some people grow in power and prestige they exhibit more and more of a sense of entitlement. They think that they deserve to be treated special. They should get whatever they want as soon as they ask for it. Nothing is too good for them or maybe nothing is quite good enough to suit them. They shouldn’t wait in line or be patient with other people. Of course, people don’t need to be in a position of power or prestige to feel entitled. We see people all around us exhibit a self-focused sense of entitlement.
A haughty nature or a sense of entitlement makes one appear that they think they are better than those around them. The natural result is to drive people away. A true leader builds a relationship of trust and respect with the people around them. This relationship of trust and respect then grants the right to influence in leadership. Instead of a sense of superiority or entitlement that drives people away, leaders must demonstrate the character traits that build a relationship and draw people in. An important part of the character of a true leader is an attitude of gratitude.
Gratitude demonstrates an appreciation for the people around us and their activity in support of the vision and goals of the team. As a leader, there are many things for which to be grateful, such as –
- Grateful for the talents with which we have been blessed.
- Grateful for the experiences we have had and the wisdom that has resulted.
- Grateful for failures and the learning that has come from them.
- Grateful for the opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute throughout life.
- Grateful to be granted a position of leadership.
- Grateful for the people that work together with us.
- Grateful for customers, suppliers, investors, etc.
- Grateful for family that provides love and support and an opportunity to build into their lives.
- Grateful for community and relationships.
- Grateful for the home you live in, the vehicle you drive, the electronic device on which you are reading this, etc.
- Grateful for the meals you have had today, for the farmer who raised the crops, for that recent cup of coffee.
- Grateful for the person who holds the door, lets you into traffic, mops the floor at the gym, stocks the shelves at the grocery, tells you good morning, etc.
If you do not have a strong attitude of gratitude, here are some ways to strengthen it. First thing in the morning, list all of the things that have brought you to this day. Last thing in the evening, list all of the day’s blessings for which you are grateful, even looking for the benefits that come from negative experiences. Keep a gratitude journal. Look for every opportunity to express appreciation to those that you encounter, wherever and whoever they might be. Gratitude is really a habit that can be developed through practice. A grateful person brightens the lives of those around them and draws people into relationship.
Are you a grateful person? What have you done to build that attitude of gratitude?