Gratitude – A Powerful Tool for Effective Leadership

Gratitude is talked about everywhere. It is the latest buzzword in the media, and there are multiple interpretations of the true meaning. If we go by the dictionary definition, gratitude is the feeling of thankfulness and appreciation. Generally speaking, most people would agree with that. It’s important to be thankful for friends, family, and the positive aspects of our lives. 

But, what happens when we hit those bumps in the road? 

Does gratitude have the same interpretation when life’s struggles occur?

When things are not going your way, due to relationship challenges, workplace difficulties, economic downturn, or health struggles, it can be easy to let those negative situations overtake us. These are the times when you need to practice gratitude the most. To learn about who you are and who you’re not. To define the positive and negative influences in your life and make a choice. To create the vision for the person you want to be. The leader you can be.

Trials are the true litmus test of gratitude. Proving you are grateful when life is not going your way is a powerful tool in your leadership toolbox.

How can you put this tool to good use?

The next time you encounter a frustrating person, because it will happen, try and adopt the attitude that they are a gift. This individual has given you the opportunity to be challenged as a person or within your beliefs. You now have a choice to seize the moment for positive personal growth. To work on and develop worthwhile qualities within yourself and to become a better leader.

You will most likely come upon team members and employees that seem to be struggling with their roles and responsibilities. In both cases, with frustrating people or with those struggling, you have the chance to approach the situation with curiosity rather than judgement. Framing the experience with these ones from a place of gratitude, then exploring it further with the mindset of curiosity can lead you to a place of understanding. Understanding the why behind their behavior. Understanding how their individual personality and thoughts can contribute well to your team. Understanding where they fit and how you can lead them.

Ultimately, it is understanding that will allow you to move away from negative feelings surrounding these ones and embrace empathy, insight, and acceptance.

Gratitude is also closely linked with humility. It is another quality that an effective leader needs to cultivate. When someone is showing true humility in their leadership, they are striving for the success of their team member’s strengths. It is an active focus on another human being rather than yourself. 

Gratitude and true humility support each other. This quality “partnership” can foster positive workplace culture, better productivity, an increase in collaboration, and create happier employees.

No matter the circumstance, when you choose gratitude you make the best choice. You are demonstrating that you understand the true meaning of gratitude and want to continue on the path toward effective and human-centered leadership. The team at Akramoff wants to help support you on that journey. To learn how we can do that for you, please get in touch with us at