Inner Attributes of a Prized Leader: Thankfulness

A “prized leader” is a leader who enjoys 360 degree respect and operates from an unselfish mindset.

Respect does not necessarily require likeability or agreement, although those certainly can be likely enhancers.  Respect is not synonymous with submission or obedience.

Respect is closely akin to trust.  I like Stephen R. Covey’s affirmation that trust is a by-product of trustworthiness which is defined by two ingredients…honesty (both explicit and implicit) and competence.

This is the first in a series of blogs considering the inner attributes typically found in such a leader.

As I write this, yesterday was Veterans’ Day in the U.S.  While driving, I happened to be tuned in to a call-in radio program listening to a conversation about expressing a “thank you for your service” to military men and women.


In the brief time I was listening, I heard comments about how tired the communicants were of the expectation of an expression of thanksgiving being extended to these people just because they were in government service.  They were doing a job and getting paid for it just like the rest of us.  It sounded almost like the conversationalists were trying to find justification not to be thankful.

It got me to thinking about the fact that what comes out of our mouth has its origin in the heart, our inner person.  In a piece by David Horsager in the Forbes Leadership Forum, he writes, “What are the qualities that attract you to another person?…The most magnetic trait is not charisma or even a smile but gratitude.”

The Biblical command is to have, as John Maxwell would put it, an “attitude of gratitude.”

Leadership guru’s, without exception, tell us that who we are on the inside has everything to do with what kind of leaders we are.

One of those inner attributes of prized leaders is thankfulness.

Thankfulness for those around them but not like them that contribute to their success.

Thankfulness for the opportunity to love others.

Thankfulness for others, including God, who loves them.

Thankfulness for those who have gone before, blazing the opportunities which they now enjoy.

Thankfulness for those who are doing work which benefits them, but in which they would rather not participate directly.

Thankfulness for the opportunity to positively affect the lives of other people.

Thankfulness for the opportunities which have provided them with the knowledge and skill to do their job well.

Thankfulness for the impact of people who have inculcated within them a sense of honesty and integrity along with other attributes that make them a human being who is of value to other people.

Thankfulness for the trust that people put in them.

Thankfulness for the friends and associates who have proven themselves true.

Thankfulness for people besides themselves who are recipients of the appreciation of others.

I could go on.

Yes, there are certain days we set aside to remind us to be thankful.  Like Memorial Day, Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving in the U.S.  Or Christmas and related holidays worldwide.  But true thanksgiving is something of the spirit that defies being confined to certain days.

What about you?  Are you consistently thankful?  Thankful in your spirit to the extent that it automatically comes out of your mouth, regardless of the day?  If not, why not?

One thing I can say for sure.  Selfishness always depreciates thankfulness.

By the way…I’m very thankful for you and the fact that you took the time to read this.  Just sayin’.

What are your thoughts?