“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” – William James
Effective leaders get results with and through other people – employees, customers, clients, vendors and the general public.
Those with a track record of longevity balance healthy ambition with gratitude. They make Gratitude a core value in building their organizations, their culture, and their professional and business brands. I call them Type-G leaders for short.
EXAMPLES OF TYPE-G LEADERS
Type-G leaders understand the power that Gratitude wields in engaging their stakeholders for competitive advantage. Consider these most admired, time-tested entrepreneurs:
Sam Walton (Wal-Mart). “Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”
Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines). “If the employees come first, then they’re happy…. A motivated employee treats the customer well. The customer is happy so they keep coming back, which pleases the shareholders. “
Howard Schulz (Starbucks). “We have no patent on anything we do and anything we do can be copied by anyone else. But you can’t copy the heart and the soul and the conscience of the company.”
Oprah Winfrey. “Every one of us gets through the tough times because somebody is there, standing in the gap to close it for us.”
Charles Schwab. “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm the greatest asset I possess. The way to develop the best … is by appreciation and encouragement.”
TYPE-G LEADER PLAYBOOK
What are the distinguishing characteristics of Type-G leaders? In short, they act authentically and consistently to make their employees, customers, clients and partners feel special by word and deed all year round.
- Are mindful of the impact of what they say, do and reward.
- Engage their employees with attractive compensation, incentives and upward career paths. (Examples: Google, Deloitte, Zappos.com)
- Focus their people on delivering exceptional customer service. (Examples: Nordstroms, Southwest Airlines, Ritz-Carlton, Trader Joe’s)
- Ensure their A-Players demonstrate and promote Type-G behaviors of recognition, appreciation and partnership. There is no place for arrogance or entitlement.
- Lead by walking around, making a point to express thanks and listen to stakeholder issues and concerns.
Success in business – as in life – is all about the quality of our relationships. The Type-G leader motivates, engages and grows the enterprise through the power of Gratitude.
Are you one?