As leaders it’s important that we communicate an attitude of thankfulness through our leadership. The attitude of the leader permeates the entire organization. As we are grateful, appreciative and thankful, so will our people be as they watch our example. How do you share an attitude of Thanksgiving?
I worked with a company recently that has instituted a system to make expressing thanks easier. It’s called “Everyday Recognition.” There are 3 types of appreciation you can give to co-workers, 1. Hi 5, 2. W2G (Way to Go), 3. UxL (You Excel). The system is designed so that the leaders aren’t the only ones giving out kudos. Peers, other departments and employees can get in on the thanksgiving action as well. It encourages a culture of gratitude.
I love that I have the privilege and honor to live in a country that sets aside a day to officially give thanks. I did some research to understand the leader behind the decision and made some interesting discoveries:
- Thursday, September 28, 1789 was named by President George Washington as “Day of Publick Thanksgivin“
- Thursday, November 26, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
- In 1939, President Roosevelt declared Thanksgiving to be on the third Thursday of November instead of the fourth. His reasoning was to allow more shopping days before Christmas. Thirty-two states issued similar proclamations while 16 states refused. Thanksgiving was celebrated on two different Thursdays for two years because of the division.
One holiday, 3 different leaders – which one didn’t get it? I understand Roosevelt’s reasoning as he wanted to ensure the nation’s economic recovery wasn’t dampened. However something was lost in the translation of the meaning of Thanksgiving. He missed the much bigger picture – the purpose behind the holiday – simply to be grateful. As a leader, it’s important that when you express gratitude to your people, you’re motives are pure. Don’t show appreciation with the expectation of something in return; more production or higher sales for example. Simply be thankful.
- Thankful for your team
- Thankful for your company
- Thankful for your paycheck and a full dinner table
- Thankful for the great nation we’re blessed to live in.
Whatever your leadership position, CEO, principal or parent embrace the true meaning of thanksgiving. “Every good and perfect gift is from above…” James 1:17 Have a blessed holiday!