3 Ways Gratitude Enhances Leadership by Shannon Cassidy

3 Ways Gratitude Enhances Leadership

The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more you will have to express gratitude for.—Bill Gates

As we enter the fall season, we begin to think of fall holidays, like Thanksgiving. But gratitude is not relegated to once a year on the 4th Thursday. Gratitude enhances leadership when practiced regularly and results in a more successful enterprise.

How? Here are three ways a simple attitude of thankfulness can change your business:

  1. Being grateful for your employees cultivates loyalty.

A typical day for any leader contains moments where you rely on your team’s expertise and work ethic. In those moments, the simple words “thank you” are vital. Everyone wants to be appreciated for their skill set and when they receive that pat on the back, loyalty to their leader is created. According to an article in Business News Daily, a recent survey revealed that 93% of respondents believed bosses were more likely to be successful if they were grateful.

Simple and sincere appreciation is the most effective form of positive reinforcement, and it’s free. The loyalty of a good employee is an effective tool for any company.

  1. Being grateful for your position as a leader cultivates humility.

Young Benjamin Franklin was said to be cocky and ego-centric.  But he was also smart enough to realize that he was becoming morally bankrupt. He set out to find character traits in which he needed to improve.  He came up with a list of twelve traits. Confident and proud of himself, he showed the list to a trusted friend probably with the idea of boasting of his efforts to improve. His friend then gave him a jolt that led to adding a 13th trait – humility. Leaders who cultivate humility inspire their employees. Egotism in a boss often fuels resentment, but humility creates a cheerful environment where employees want to succeed for the boss and the company.

Freibergs.com made the powerful observation:

When you are in awe of what you have, the immediate response is a deep sense of appreciation: “Whom do I repay?” “What does it mean to give back in life?” “How can I be a better steward of what I have?” These questions leave little room for envy, entitlement, or complaint. It’s hard to complain when we are truly thankful, but it’s hard to be thankful when we think we are entitled and take so much for granted.

Simply being grateful for your position as a leader can improve your company and your team.

  1. Being grateful cultivates mental strength.

For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma.  A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War Veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Gratitude fosters mental strength. There’s an old saying that if you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness. This isn’t just a fluffy idea. Several studies have shown depression to be inversely correlated to gratitude. It seems that the more grateful a person is, the less depressed they are. Philip Watkins, a clinical psychologist at Eastern Washington University, found that clinically depressed individuals showed significantly lower gratitude (nearly 50 percent less) than non-depressed controls.

What leader would not want loyalty, humility and mental strength? These qualities can be characteristics of your company when you and other leaders in your company cultivate gratitude. Want a more successful company? Practice gratitude all year long.

Want to cultivate gratitude? Order your own gratitude journal here.








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Four Reasons Knowing Your Worth is Vital for a Leader

Four Reasons Knowing Your Worth is Vital for a Leader

If you consider the employers you have worked for in your past, you could probably divide them into two groups: those who knew their worth and those who didn’t. If you think about it in those terms, it will become obvious that the better managers knew their worth.

This intrinsic knowledge is a vital asset to any leader. Why?

Leaders who know their worth delegate with confidence.

We all have strengths. Know what yours are. Be clear on this. When you know your strengths, you can feel confident delegating and leading. When the next project rolls around for your company, knowing your worth will be vital in planning out each undertaking. If you tend to waffle when discussing your talents, you will vacillate when assigning tasks. Any leader who is insecure in launching a project will set a tone of insecurity, and the team members will follow suit. Insecurity breeds indecision and eventually resentment. Know how valuable your skills are.

Leaders who know their worth don’t allow disrespect of anyone on the team.

Too often low self-esteem enters the workplace by way of disrespectful comments. People lash out in disrespect because they feel badly about themselves. As a leader who knows your worth, you can stop this behavior by establishing an environment of respect. This begins with you having high self-esteem and knowing your own worth. You can stop disrespect in your office by displaying respect for yourself and others.

Leaders who know their worth have relaxed followers.

Stressful team members are a problem with any project. They bring their worry to the project, and it naturally spreads to those around them. It is difficult to deal with this kind of stress unless you are a confident leader. Just like stress can spread, confidence is infectious. Anyone on a team performs better when their leader is confident. The tone a manager sets can combat that stress that sneaks in. So as a leader, it is up to you to develop and maintain that confidence. Knowing your worth is the key to confidence.

Leaders who know their worth face any crisis with poise.

When your company has a bad quarter, disappointment is a natural response. When a key person on your team quits, panic can arise. When conflict rears its head at the office, avoidance and denial can be a temptation. However, if you know your worth, that knowledge can lead you away from disappointment, panic and denial.  Instead of dealing with the overwhelming thought of “What in the world should I do now?” your response can be, “We can handle this. What is our first step?”

Jim Rohn said, “You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.” That value begins with valuing yourself and what you bring to the table. To be the best leader you can be, spend time in understanding and knowing your worth. You will benefit from this and so will the people on your team.




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Physical Fitness is Vital to Leadership by Shannon Cassidy

Physical Fitness is Vital to Leadership

Does physical fitness have any bearing on leadership abilities?

The phrase “fit to lead” dates back to the early 1800’s. A leader needed to be spiritually, mentally and physically fit enough to lead a community.

The same could be said today especially physically. Leadership is a taxing position that requires a certain amount of endurance, confidence and decisiveness, all of which have a direct link to the physical state of the body. True to the adage mens sana in corpora sano (“healthy mind in a healthy body”), it is essential to maintain a high level of fitness to keep motivated and disciplined.

It is important as leaders to be actively tuned into the rhythms of our body and the fluctuations of energy we might have throughout each day. Too many leaders put so much energy into leading and achieving that they forget about how important it is to maintain fitness.

Why? Here are 5 reasons physical fitness is vital to leadership:

  1. The law of mimicry. Studies have shown that regular team members unconsciously mimic the behavior patterns of their leader. If a leader is undisciplined or not punctual, their subordinates tend to follow suit. In the same way, a leader who does not make caring for her body and health a priority will have team members who will mirror this as well.
  2. Mental wellness. Exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress because it boosts your brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters called endorphins. Also, by solely focusing on your body’s motions for a period of time, you focus less on the day’s stresses, at least for a while. According to an article by the Mayo Clinic, exercise also reduces symptoms associated with anxiety and depression while improving sleeping patterns.
  3. Creativity. Being physically fit gives a leader the ability and brain space to use creative thinking to its utmost. Studies suggest that even moderate levels of exercise increase cognitive abilities and will help you make better decisions and design creative business strategies.
  4. Productivity. Just like a car that is top condition and filled with gas can go on long trips without incident, so a body that is physically fit can produce all that it is required to produce.
  5.  Confidence. Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. Regular exercise boosts self-confidence through endorphins.

A great leader pays attention to health. John F. Kennedy said, “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”








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6 Reasons Leaders Must Develop Patience by Shannon Cassidy

6 Reasons Leaders Must Develop Patience

“I wanted it yesterday.”

This is a fair statement if the deadline has actually passed. But demanding constant speed when there is no real urgency can wear down an employee. Great leaders know that having excellent skills in patience will create the best kind of team.


Patience Shows Respect

Focused listening to an employee communicates respect and therefore encourages productivity. Impatience while listening communicates that you don’t value your team members’ opinions.

Patience Increases Productivity

If you are constantly telling your team members to hurry up, it will foster either frustration or fear and you want neither on your team. To get the best results, use patience and deliberate instructions. Productivity will be twice what it was compared to when you are rushing.

Patience Allows Freedom

When you are presenting the idea of change, employees will process that at different paces. If you are impatient with their progression, you will be subtly communicating to them that they are “less than.” That is simply not true and will possibly drive your team members to quit. If they know they have freedom to accept the change at their own speeds, they will be better workers.

Patience Inspires Positivity

Patience inspires your team to have a positive attitude during difficult times. Your leadership when displaying patience will be noticed by your employees and will infect them with positivity. “If the boss seems calm and patient, I can be, too.”

Patience Exercises Good Timing

Timing is everything. If you are a leader of a team that must act on the stock market or forge ahead when the timing is right, patience is an extreme virtue. CNN’s news and the alerts that come up on our cell phones encourage us to go, go, go. But wisdom says to use patience. Slow down. Wait. And it is a thrill when the waiting pays off, especially in areas like real estate and Wall Street stocks.

Patience Grows Companies

Building a company takes time. Wise leaders know this and use patience appropriately. Some don’t and their attempts fail. In an article about patience in leadership on Inc.com Eric Holtzclawe wrote, “But as you move through your entrepreneurial journey, pay close attention to the pressure you are applying. Is it consistent, purposeful pressure like that needed to create a diamond? Or are you using the brute force of a sledgehammer?”


Gandhi used incredible patience in leading India to its independence.

Look at the Red Sox – from 1918 to 2004 they waited patiently through the “curse of the Bambino” and then took the World Series at last.

The Cubs fans are still using their patience!

If you want to be the best leader you can be, begin fostering the characteristic of patience. Slow down and be deliberate. Most leaders, ironically, are not patient people. The tendency is get it done and get it done now. But great leaders are patient and it reflects in their team members and productivity.








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Five Ways to Recharge Your Body and Soul

Five Ways to Recharge Your Body and Soul

It’s a common scene. You are driving home and you glance down at your phone. Only 1% power left. But you needed to make that one business call before ending your day. You are forced to wait until you get home and plug in the phone charger.

Your body and soul are very much like that phone. It’s probably easy to picture a day when you just wanted to check off one more to do off your list, but only had 1% power left.

But here’s the rub – you still tried to accomplish that task. Many of us ignore the amount of power we have in us, and force ourselves to do more when what we needed was to RECHARGE.

Here are five ways you can plug in your charger and recharge your body’s power to 100%:

  1. Take a walk with no electronics. Follow Robert Frost and take the path less traveled by. Look around you. Consider what you see. Take an extra moment and see the details of that tree. Be a kid and find pictures in the clouds that dance across the sky. Share a “thank you” for four circumstances or people. Even a short gratitude walk can recharge the soul.
  2. Slow down and breathe. Make a conscious choice to drive the speed limit and breathe slowly. Take the stairs or plot the long way to get to your destinations. During this time, if you have to go into any store, go slowly and breathe. Join the longest checkout lane and instead of looking ahead to see when it is your turn, breathe.
  3. Take a long, hot bath with Epsom salts. This isn’t just for Grandma. Epsom salts break down into magnesium and sulphate in warm water and then seep into your skin, soothing aches and providing a natural relaxation. Bath salts and crystals make your skin softer, but Epsom salts address your muscles and nerves. Stay in your bath as long as you can for maximum recharging.
  4. Plan downtime during your work day. Use a break to do a crossword puzzle or listen to a few songs from a soothing playlist. Instead of checking Facebook during your break, read a chapter of a book for the sheer enjoyment of reading. Your downtime can be maximized when you exclude electronics and include peaceful and relaxing habits during that downtime. Back at your desk, you will feel more recharged after a short break.
  5. Get ready for bed earlier and get up earlier. Turn the TV off and spend the last minutes before you sleep talking to a loved one. The importance of sleep is not new. Getting those thirty extra minutes of sleep will give your body the extra energy you need. Get up earlier and take your time getting ready for your day. Rushing in the morning steals peace and uses up extra energy. Take your time and recharge, even as you begin your day.

These simple acts of intentionally recharging your body and soul will keep you focused when stakes are high and will reduce the stress that can harm your health. Today as you plug in your phone to recharge, think about how you can do the same for your physical body as well.







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