The first Be-Attitude of successful leaders was to Be generous! I know it’s the holiday season and we are all focused on giving and generosity this time of year but in truth, great leaders are focused on generosity on a daily basis. Think Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama as examples of leaders who have given their lives to the service of others. If you missed part 1, you can read it here.
In the second BE-Attitude of Successful Leaders, we have the complement to generosity which is gratitude. One of my favorite gifts from a friend one year was a beautiful bracelet of beads from Africa that my friend Alice gave me for Christmas one year. She said that every night before bedtime she would use it like we used rosaries when we were kids, naming one thing she was grateful for with each bead. By the time she made it around the 20 or so beads on the bracelet, she would fall asleep. I have used my bracelet many times. It always lifts my spirits to remind myself of all that I have to be grateful for. Other ideas of celebrating gratitude are to keep a daily journal, to share with your family around the dinner table one thing you are grateful for or to just name 5 things at bedtime each evening that you have to be grateful for that day. What a great gift to give your children this holiday season, the gift of gratitude.
2. BE grateful! No matter what we believe or hear others say, no one becomes successful alone. There is always at least one person in our lives who has helped us reach the next level, usually there are many. This is the other side of being generous. Never forget to thank the people who helped you get to where you are today. Daily I thank my husband and my children for allowing me the time and freedom to work and build my dreams. I thank my mother who always said I could do and be anything I wanted. I thank my staff who is working hard to build this business with me every day. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a practice that brings joy and contentment to your day. Whenever you are feeling blue or feeling less than successful, make a mental list of what you are grateful for. It was 103 degrees in Dallas one day this summer. We had one cloudy day with a nice breeze that made it bearable to be outside. I was so grateful for those clouds. I focused on the gratitude rather than the heat and enjoyed my day. This is a simple example but it is small shifts in our focus and energy that can help us to get out of our own way, focus on the positive and get clear about our next action steps.
Practical Action Step: Keep a gratitude journal. It can be as simple as a spiral notebook or a beautiful journal you made or purchased. Every night before bed, make a list of what you are grateful for today. Read over the lists from other days. It has been shown that doing this before bed leads to more restful sleep, great dreams and the birth of new ideas.