CNLP 361: Adrian Gostick on Why Ingratitude in Leaders is Stupid, How Gratitude Leads to Better Results, and Why It’s More Important Than Ever

A lot of leaders struggle with praising their teams. That, says NYT bestselling author and leadership consultant Adrian Gostick, is a critical mistake. Not just in terms of motivating your team, but in terms of boosting the bottom line and raising employee engagement.

Adrian discusses why gratitude is so vital to teams, how to foster it, and why it always boosts the bottom line.

Welcome to Episode 361 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about ten signs your organization is toxic.

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Photo of Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

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Leading with Gratitude by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

The Best Team Wins by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

All In by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

The Carrot Principle by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

10 Signs Your Organization’s Culture is Toxic by Carey Nieuwhof

Text CAREY 33777 to join more than 70,000 subscribers to our leadership content

Text BETTERVALUES to get Carey’s 3-Step Guide to Developing Better Value Statements


1. Younger generations want flexibility not autonomy

One of the top motivators for Baby Boomers at work is autonomy. They love having the ability to work on their own projects without a lot of group interaction. The Millennial generation is the exact opposite. Millennials want immediate access to their boss and co-workers while working on major projects.

What’s weird about this, is that even though Millennials don’t need autonomy, they do want flexibility. So, they want to work with a team on major projects, but they want to work on those projects where and when it’s convenient for them. That means they embrace remote work from home or a coffee shop, but also value collaboration. Are you ready for that?

2. Not showing gratitude as a manager is an act of stupidity

Many older managers have the mindset, “If you still have a job, you should be grateful. Especially in these hard times.” This mindset is extremely counterproductive especially among the next generation. Workers want to know they are doing a good job, and telling them once a year at a performance review just doesn’t cut it.

Adrian argues that it’s a stupid decision not to show gratitude, because there are very few things that we know are an accelerator in business, but showing gratitude is one of them. People today are desperate for recognition, and you will see a massive return on your investment if you invest an hour or two a week in encouraging your team.

3. Seeking out ideas from your team is key

So many bosses are afraid to get ideas from their team. They think, “If I hear their ideas, but then don’t act on them, they’ll be mad at me.” Or, “What if all of their ideas are terrible?” Although it’s natural to think that way, the best managers are the ones who hear from and implement their team’s ideas.

Texas Roadhouse is a perfect example of this. One of their most successful managers was able to take their usual online sales of <$6,000 a week and raise it to $60,000 per week during the COVID pandemic, strictly by creating a setting where her team can bring ideas to her and she hears them out and implements the great ones.

Quotes from Episode 361

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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Help Your Team Crush Their Goals As You Move Into the Future

It’s never been more important for your organization to hit your goals. It’s also never been more difficult.

Lead a Better Team is the step-by-step approach to:

  • Get far better results with the same team
  • Create a system of accountability so you can actually achieve the goals you set; and
  • Boost the performance of your staff so you can stop micromanaging

All while freeing up time for you to do what you do best.

The best part? You’ll learn how you can do this even if you’re leading a virtual team.

Get instant access to Lead a Better Team here, and take your team to the next level.

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Next Episode: Danielle Strickland

In a wide-ranging conversation, Danielle Strickland joins Carey in his home studio to talk about why it’s unfair to expect women speakers to hit home runs every time they communicate and why she started the Women’s Speaker Collective. Danielle explains why, despite Billy Graham’s amazing legacy, the Billy Graham rule that men and women never meet alone together is both outdated and unhelpful, and where the path to healing the divide between men and women in life and at work can move next. Plus, Danielle discusses why so much Western Christianity is all head and needs to grow a body.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 362.

CNLP 361: Adrian Gostick on Why Ingratitude in Leaders is Stupid, How Gratitude Leads to Better Results, and Why It’s More Important Than Ever


  1. LDS on August 19, 2020 at 6:28 am

    I took the extra step and subscribed to receive the preaching cheat sheet, but you sent it in a Zip file that could not be opened. Can you send it as a pdf? Or simply email me the questions please. Thank you.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on August 19, 2020 at 6:25 pm

      My team just emailed you.

      Thanks for letting us know!

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