Thanksgiving Day, a unique holiday in America, is a unique opportunity to work on our leadership skills and measure progress in our workspace, business, or community.
When we think of a gratitude list, our mind usually goes to our loved ones, our health or well-being, the achievements we had this year, even our children’s accomplishments, or our friends’ presence in our lives.
However, I invite you to work on a Leadership Gratitude List, to reflect on how you have interacted with your employees, the people you supervise or manage, the constituents you serve, the audience that follows you, or the people in your congregation.
In a new and changing environment where people are looking for more manageable ways to balance life and work, your actions as a leader are instrumental in allowing change that is reasonable and possible.
I invite you to reflect on this gratitude list this Thanksgiving day and see if you have practiced these skills to show care for the people you lead.
List of 10 skills every leader should be thankful for
1. You care for the ones you lead
Your actions and decisions are in the best interest of the people you lead, whenever possible. You always measure the extent of your decisions and the repercussions that might have on those that follow you.
2. You are eager to help them achieve their goals
You are always looking for the best ways to help them achieve their personal or professional goals because you know that a happy team member is usually a better-performing one. Whether it is a family issue or a work task, you know they can trust you to solve the problem with fairness. Conversely, a performing team reflects on your leadership ability and success.
3. You appreciate their uniqueness and special skills
You know your team members well, and you help them take advantage of their uniqueness and special skills. You take the time to work individually with each of them, when possible, and encourage them to develop certain skills while praising their achievements.
4. You lead your team calmly in critical situations
There are days when you need to make your best effort to lead your team in critical situations. You stay calm and gather your team’s perspectives on how to solve the problem at hand, without lashing out or spreading blame among your team. You then analyze and make your best decisions based on a collective approach.
5. You strive to best use your communication skills
In every situation, you make sure the communication process is clear and mutual. You try to have excellent communication interaction while avoiding a micro-managing environment in which your team might feel threatened or over-controlled.
6. You are passionate about your goals and show it
Your passion for your work, business, or deed is contagious and breeds the same in others. When your team or audience listens to you, they get pumped and excited about the task at hand and offer their best abilities to help you achieve your goals.
7. You constantly challenge your comfort zone
You have done and continue to do thorough work on your weaknesses and grey areas to transform them into your best abilities. In the same way, you encourage others to do the same, and you value their efforts because you know it is a difficult task.
8. You are not afraid to show your vulnerability
True leaders know that team members follow those who can share their vulnerabilities and show their “humanness.” Showing your true emotions and lessons learned is one of the most valuable skills in any leader because it reveals great courage and the effort for continuous self-improvement.
9. You are dependable, and your team knows it
Your team knows that they can count on you in every situation, whether it’s a difficult task to accomplish, a personal matter, or a celebration of their achievements. When you cannot be available under a particular circumstance, you make sure your team has developed mutual dependability skills and can follow through without your intervention.
10. Your integrity is a cherished value
Integrity is a core leadership value, and you cherish it in your team and yourself. When integrity is compromised, you make sure that the situation is handled with care and fairness while also showing empathy.
Reflect on this list and add other items you might be grateful for to make it a different Thanksgiving day. If you have been a fair and servant leader, you need appreciation more than anyone else. Also, don’t forget to express appreciation to your team for their collaboration and for supporting you in becoming a better leader.