Skip to content

5 Crucial Ways Your Gratitude Impacts Your Attitude As A Leader

Ever notice the leaders you’re most attracted to tend to be the most grateful?

At least that’s true for me.

Grateful leaders make the best leaders.

And yet being in leadership can make you ungrateful…quickly.

You feel a pressure few others feel and have responsibilities that will never fit into a job description.

You carry a weight around with you wherever you go.

It can wear you down.

One of the disciplines I’ve had as a leader is learning how to become grateful and stay grateful.

Sometimes the best way for me to do that is to remind myself why grateful leaders make the best leaders.

Here are 5 reasons why that’s true.

1. Your overall gratitude impacts your overall attitude

A grateful leader tends to be a great leader. An ungrateful leader, well, never is.

I find when my gratitude is high, I just lead better.

I’m kinder and more compassionate. I’m less resentful and I’m less suspicious.

Your overall gratitude impacts your overall attitude. So be grateful.

2. A grateful leader sees opportunities others miss

I believe a grateful attitude is tied to an abundance mentality. I’m a firm believer in abundance thinking.

Why?

If we have a God who created everything we see out of nothing and who rose after he died, he can accomplish anything—through me, without me and in spite of me. If he uses me…wow…that’s amazing!

Being grateful for what you have is tied, in a meaningful way, to thinking abundantly about the future.  Again…why?

Well, an ungrateful mind tends to translate what hasn’t happened into what can’t happen, what won’t happen and what will never happen.

A grateful mind thinks about everything that happened, gives thanks, and trust that even greater things can happen, will happen and should happen.

A grateful leader will almost always find the path to an abundant future.

And, for the ‘realists’ out there, you think feeling grateful won’t change anything?

Few people said it better than Henry Ford when he said, “Whether you believe you can or whether you believe you can’t, you’re right.”

As a leader, what you think determines what you do.

3. Gratitude fuels generosity

I learned this principle years ago from Andy Stanley. Nothing fuels generosity more than gratitude.

Think about it. If someone’s given you anything (cash, a gift, their time), nothing makes that person want to give again quite like gratitude.

Similarly, if you’re thankful for the time you’ve spent together, they’ll want to get together again. If you’re not, they won’t.

Ditto with giving to a church or organization. Leaders who are genuinely grateful for whatever they receive tend to be surrounded by people who want to give more.

Ungrateful leaders are soon surrounded by non-givers or, ultimately, by no one.

4. Teams gravitate toward gratitude

Your team gravitates toward gratitude. Far too many people despise their work because they feel underappreciated.

You should always pay people well—as generously as you can in fact.

But even money has its limits.

Eventually, you can’t pay people enough to overcome an ungenerous spirit.

I’ve known people who have taken pay cuts because they would rather work for someone who was grateful than for an ungrateful leader.

Leaders, remember: gratitude is the greatest currency with which a leader can pay a team.

And, when it comes to volunteers, gratitude is pretty much all your volunteers run on.

The best leaders realize that even their employees are, at their core, volunteers. Every capable person could work somewhere else.

5. Gratitude neutralizes your anger and jealousy

Grateful people are rarely angry.

And angry people are rarely grateful.

Ditto with jealous people.

Cultivating gratitude will make you far less angry (you’ll realize no one owes you anything) and it will make you far less jealous (because you’ll realize God has given you what you need).

Want to be far less angry and jealous? Stay on your knees long enough to be grateful.

I’m a Lot More Grateful These Days

 

Wish you felt more grateful?

So did I 15 years ago as I got closer and closer to burnout. But I learned to deal with the things that cap a leader’s potential or even take leaders out, things like cynicism, compromise, pride, emptiness, burnout and more: the issues almost everyone struggles with and no one expects.

Coming out on the other side, I’m so grateful and feel so much better. And I think that journey is possible for anyone (and everyone).

I tackle seven key issues every leader eventually encounters in my best-selling book, Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences. 

I not only outline how each of the seven challenges shows up in your life, I show you how to combat them and beat them.

There’s an antidote to each of the seven and some very practical steps you can take so issues like cynicism, pride, irrelevance and emptiness no longer define your present or your future.  And once you’ve burned out, you don’t need to stay burned out. You can thrive again, and I show you how.

You can pick up your copy of Didn’t See It Coming here (hardcover, AudioBook or Kindle) and once again (or for the first time) discover how to thrive in life leadership.

What Makes You Grateful?

What helps you cultivate gratitude? I’d love to hear from you.

How does gratitude impact your leadership?

I wrote this post on 5 things that make me more grateful when I’m feeling ingratitude.

I’d love to hear your perspective. Scroll down and leave a comment.

17 Comments

  1. Ron on November 26, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks, Carey, As always Gods gifted you with a way to communicate words into words w/ a call for action & the desire to act on them! your right on point! people definitely look up to others who are grateful and seek to be near them.
    What helps keeps me on my knee’s, cultivating gratitude, honestly is continually staying in community, reflecting on the answered prayers, miracles and blessed life I’ve been given. I believe regularly going on Mission (home & abroad) has a huge impact on cultivating/keeping my gratitude, where I always encounter people living in 3rd world conditions, whether a city bench, bridge or Camel Hair Tent in the middle of the desert hundreds of miles from electric really helps put the cushy life I been given in perspective. So reflecting on what I’ve been given in comparison to the majority of the world, Trusting God only desires good for me, truly helps keeps me grounded. Definitely, a bonus when the Lord works thru me & allows me to be a part of it as we know we can’t do anything on our own (I love how straightforward you put that, The biggest challenge is to stay in that mindset constantly “Moment to Moment @ work, church, home” but the pay off is so great when we do!
    God Bless.

  2. Ron on November 26, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks, Carey, As always Gods gifted you with a way to communicate words into words w/ a call for action & the desire to act on them! your right on point! people definitely look up to others who are grateful and seek to be near them.
    What helps keeps me on my knee’s, cultivating gratitude, honestly is continually staying in community and reflecting on the answered prayers, miracles and blessed life I’ve been given. I believe regularly going on Mission both home & abroad has a huge impact on cultivating my gratitude, where I always encounter people living in 3rd world conditions, whether a city bench, bridge or Camel Hair Tent in the middle of the desert hundreds of miles from electric really helps put the cushy life I been given in perspective. So reflecting on what I’ve been given in comparison to the majority of the world, Trusting God only desires good for me, truly helps keeps me grounded. Definitely, a bonus when the Lord works thru me & allows me to be a part of it as we know I can’t do anything on my own (I love how straightforward you put that, The biggest challenge is to stay in that constantly “Moment to Moment @ work, church, home” but the pay off is so great when we do!
    God Bless.

  3. Teddy Jones on November 22, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Carey, thanks for this. You have a real anointing for writing. Every article connects with the thoughts that I have been preaching and teaching and living. Thanks for opening your life to us in the way you do. So few leaders today are able to be authentic in their writing. You connect better when you are authentic. I am filled with gratitude that I came across your blog when I did!

  4. Olapeter Olabanjo on December 18, 2017 at 11:16 am

    More grace to your elbow. Sincerely speaking, I`m impressed with this write-up because it really impacts my life. Now I have million reasons to be grateful for all that God in His infinite mercy has done for me. Thanks so much.

  5. gratitude fun on November 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Nice article !!

  6. Brent Dumler on November 27, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    “Stay on your knees long enough to be grateful.” So much truth in this one sentence. In the last few years, I’ve learned gratefulness by practicing looking back to seasons in my family and in ministry that were incredibly hard, and then thanking Jesus that we were able to come out on the other side stronger and healthier than before. As for how gratitude impacts my leadership, one thing comes to mind. When I’m grateful my motives and intensions remain pure and unselfish. Great post, Carey. Blessings.

  7. Kathy on November 24, 2017 at 10:53 am

    I’m grateful for you and your insightful article. Thank you!

  8. TiElla G on November 23, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing this piece! I am learning how to be mindful of the things I am grateful for. I get so caught up in the next moment or the next task that I forgot to pause and take a moment for what God has allowed me to do this far. I always thought (and am working through this thinking) that I have to constantly be doing in order to feel grateful (who knows if that makes sense out loud, lol). If I am not doing for others, then what should I be grateful for. This type of thinking has led to a false humilty and lack of sincere gratitude. I am now in the transition of employee to entrepreneur and this journey has helped me to realize all the great things God has allowed me to do up to this point in order for me to get to a point to launch a business. Being mindful and taking the time to acknowledge what I am grateful for contributes to building my confidence.

  9. Rick Greer on November 23, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Gratitude or expressing it is a seemingly lost character trait in many people today. when my wife and I went into mission work almost 20 years ago, we made a pact that not one penny of donation would go unacknowledged in the form of a hand written thank-you note.- (NO mass or automatic mailings) Each month we would take the stack of cards and start writing sometimes it would be in a most hectic time of the month with other “important” things to do. Getting into it seemed like a real chore sometimes but just start writing, and gratitude would flow from my heart to each and every person that kept God’s ministry alive by their generosity -be it $10,000 or $10. The givers too were grateful, and ministry, 20 years later is still at the work He called us to.

    • NWONU on November 23, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks so much for another opportunity to be thankful.

  10. Rick Cochran on November 23, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Carey what a timely and thought provoking post. I am in a series I have titled “The Greatness of Gratitude.” It has rung a bell with our people…it has rung my bell even more. After starting the church I pastor 11 years ago we have had setback after setback but somehow survived. I have been drawn by God’s Spirit to become more grateful through the grind of daily leadership. As corny as it sounds I began a “Gratitude Journal” and it does work! We expect and demand so much of ourselves as the leader and without realizing it we transfer the fulfillment of those demands and expectations onto those we lead. When we do not fulfill those expectations we become increasingly ungrateful for others and ungracious to others. Two things undergird the series: (1) GRATEFULNESS IS IMPOSSIBLE to generate and maintain without Christ’s Supernatural work in our lives (2) GRATEFULNESS IS INTENTIONAL so we must cultivate His servant heart through attitudes and actions. Thank you Cary…your post rang my bell again today!

  11. Clark Palmer on November 23, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Great post. Timely in my life. Strong insights. I could feel some hard spots in my spirit melting as I read. Thanks!

    • Gary Whittaker on November 22, 2018 at 7:49 am

      Interesting. I wrote this post a year ago, and the Spirit working through your article has done a strong work in my attitude this past year. And as a more thankful person, God has used me to blaze new Kingdom trails, gather a wonderfully committed team around me, clarified His mission in me, become more effective in personal evangelism, and moving closer to personal holiness. So much to be thankful for, and you and hour articles are a big one!

  12. Gary Whittaker on November 23, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Thankfulness slows me down to value what He ha done, and just who He is, before I move on to what He has next. I tend to move forward too fast, without spending time enjoying and thanking Him for the NOW. Thanks be to God for His marvelous gift!
    You are one of the things I thank Him for.

  13. Timothy Dlamini on November 23, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Thank you so much for this important information.

  14. Neville Martins on November 23, 2017 at 7:49 am

    This has really been a great blessing, and an eye opening to me.
    Thank you

  15. pradeep ivon on November 23, 2017 at 6:57 am

    thank you Carey for very helpful leadership and management lesson!

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.