Giving thanks

I realize every year about this time that I’m not as thankful as I could be.

Like so many, I too often measure what’s wrong with my life.  In the measuring, I create stress for myself and close myself off to the recognition of all the delights, both small and large, that surround me every day. So if you’ll indulge me please, I’d like to remind myself through today’s blog of a few of the spectacularly wonderful things in my life.

I’m thankful because:

  • Path Forward, my leadership development company, is still standing healthy and proud—despite two years in which many of our customers had to say no when they didn’t want to.
  • My business partner Steve and I are so committed not only to the business and its mission, but also to one another.
  • I get to see that the work we do makes a real difference.
  • Despite all the lunacy in the world, I haven’t lost my faith that human beings are essentially good.
  • I live in a community I love, three blocks from a coffee shop where the staff knows my name and my coffee preference without asking.
  • My creative spirit and force is stronger today than it has been in years.
  • I’m still taking piano lessons, despite being older than my teacher.
  • I’m going to be a Grandpa in April.
  • After 34 years, I am still madly in love with my wife.

Tell us what you think.  We’d like our blog posts to begin a dialogue.  We eagerly welcome your comments and questions.

I also realize that gratitude—deep awareness of the gifts in our lives—is an important characteristic of leadership.

One of the attributes that draws people toward you is an infectious appreciation for others and for the strengths of your organization. While you must have the courage to point out the gaps and flaws in your organization, you can wear yourself and others out by focusing relentlessly on deficiencies. Once in a while, it’s good for the soul to walk through the building and be thankful for what you see.

Wonderful people are doing difficult work with their heart and soul.  Customers are receiving value from your products or services.  Salaries are being paid and mortgages and college tuitions are being paid off.  People are growing, stretching and realizing their own gifts.

It’s all around you – take a look and enjoy. This enjoyment will make your leadership more compelling and attractive to others.

YOUR PATH FORWARD: For two weeks, every morning when you wake up, and again at lunch, list five things you’re grateful for.  No repeats allowed.  See if it makes a difference in your day, in your attitude toward life.



About the Author

Jim Hessler
Jim Hessler bootstrapped his way from retail work into a successful career as salesman, sales manager, Fortune 500 executive, and corporate turnaround engineer. Along the way, he developed The Leadership Platform, a proven model for training managers to become sustainably better leaders. It became the basis of his leadership primer, Land On Your Feet, Not On Your Face: A Guild to Building Your Leadership Platform. Jim is the founder of Path Forward Leadership Development Services.

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