A few years ago, bona fide good guy Richard Smucker (current CEO and a fourth generation Smucker) found a letter written by his father that sums up what it means to appreciate and express gratitude:
· Say “thank you”
· Listen with full attention
· Look for the good in others
An outlook for thankfulness enables leaders to see the great promise in others, to remain open to experience and to keep tough situations in perspective without catastrophizing them.
To appreciate is to recognize you are not alone in this world and that there are many things of value that lie outside oneself. We know it’s a cliché but the ability to see the glass as half full is fundamental to good leadership. It comes handy after an acquisition, for example.
When Proctor and Gamble acquired Gillette they created a special unit to explore and extract the best practices from each company. As a result, ninety-five percent of Gillette’s employees who were invited to stay did so.