5 Ways Gratitude Makes You a Better Leader

RAFT Team, August 25, 2020

What qualities make a leader effective? Most people list things like confidence, integrity, clear communication, decisiveness, and courage. Rarely do they include gratitude on the list. But gratitude can make you a better leader!

What is gratitude? Simply put, it’s the ability to see good things around you and notice where they come from. More and more studies find that gratitude is a valuable trait in effective leaders. According to a survey by the John Templeton Foundation:

  • 94% agree that people who are grateful are more fulfilled, and that gratitude helps people lead a richer life.  
  • Over 95 percent said that it is anywhere from “somewhat” to “very” important for mothers and fathers to teach gratitude.
  • 94% of women and 96% of men agree that a grateful boss is more likely to be successful. Only 18% feel a grateful boss could be seen as weak.
  • People are least likely to be grateful as work.

How can gratitude make you a better leader? We list 5 ways below:

Gratitude Makes You More Outgoing

When you’re focused on noticing all the good things around you, the not-so-great things tend to fade into the background. And positivity has a way of bubbling over. Most people can’t help but share a smile, a kind word, or a thank you when gratitude becomes a lifestyle. Grateful people are more helpful and more compassionate than their stoic counterparts. And it’s impossible to stay down or unmotivated when you’re practicing gratitude. Who can resist someone like that?

It Checks Your Ego

Gratitude makes you a better leader by allowing you to notice your own exceptional qualities and accomplishments. (Yes, this is permissible and even healthy!) It also enables you to notice the people and things around you that contribute to a wonderful world. Grateful people are quick to realize and acknowledge that they haven’t gotten where they are without the help of others. 

Gratitude Gives Your Health a Boost

Exercising your gratitude muscle can lower your blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, and reduce aches and pains. Grateful people sleep better and wake more alert and feel more refreshed. Gratitude can increase your energy level and allow you to exercise more and take better care of yourself. While you might not be ready to run a marathon after a week’s worth of gratitude practice, you’ll most likely be a step or two closer to your goal.

It Increases Your Creativity

Gratitude reduces stress. This allows you to think more clearly and remember more details. Gratitude increases your ability to see connections in things that might not normally be considered similar. Once you begin to see these connections, your curiosity will grow about other connections. All of these things results in greater creativity in problem solving and a can-do attitude about the solution. 

Gratitude Makes You Magnetic

Energy follows attention. And who can resist an energetic, happy person who appreciates and acknowledges the good qualities of those around him? No one wants to be around someone who is a continual dark cloud of doom and gloom. They sap energy from others and demands that you focus on them. Grateful people are positive, and tend to lift up those around them. They’re fun to be around because gratitude builds others up and creates more positive energy. When you come at things with a positive mindset, you’re likely to accomplish them, and everyone likes to be around a winner.

There is no limit to gratitude capacity — you can be as grateful as you want to be!

Which means you grow in each of these 5 areas the more you make gratitude a lifestyle. If you’ve ever considered starting a gratitude practice or boosting the one you already have, now is the best time to do it. Grab your calendar and make an appointment with yourself to outline a simple plan. Gratitude is never out of style, and it’s never too late to exercise your gratitude muscle.