Leaders Have A Lot To Be Thankful For

Thanksgiving is a fabulous holiday for many people. I believe those with thankful hearts enjoy it most. One way to cultivate a thankful heart is to recount all the things you have to be thankful for. Today, I’ll share some things I’m thankful for this season…

The opportunity to serve – If you’ve read many of my posts over the last year, I hope my bias is clear – great leaders serve. The best leaders are serving leaders not self-serving. We can serve in big ways and small – both in strategic ways and more tactical ways. I’m thankful to have the chance to serve every day.
An organization that cares about more than profits – Don’t misread this – profits matter! Our founder, Truett Cathy, says, “There is no mission without margin.” We do work to be good stewards and generate a fair return. However, we know success is more than profits. I’m thankful to work for a company that embraces this point of view.
My team – Having worked at Chick-fil-A more than 30 years, I’ve ALWAYS had a great team. My new team is no exception. The depth of their knowledge and experience amazes me. I’m also inspired by their commitment to excellence. I’m thankful for each of them.
The chance to do work that matters – Yes, the impact of the projects I work on varies widely. Some of them, you could argue, are less significant than others. However, when I take the long view, the work I do matters – it has the potential to make a difference in people’s lives. I’m guessing your work does too. That’s something to be thankful for.
Clear understanding of my weaknesses – Self-knowledge is worth its weight in gold. I recently read a book entitled, Leadership and Self-deception. If you haven’t read it, I would recommend it be on your 2013 Reading List. Leaders who don’t know their weaknesses create weakness in others. I’m thankful to know mine.
The ability to grow – This is one of the things I’m most thankful for. I know my weaknesses, but I’m still a work in progress. As long as you and I can say that, we can stay in the game. A leader’s capacity to grow determines our capacity to lead. I’m thankful I can still grow.
I realize your list is probably different than mine. The point: stop and think about all you have to be thankful for. Whether your list is long or short, we all have at least one thing in common – we’ve been given the opportunity to lead. That alone, is a lot to be thankful for![GLS_Shield]

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Layi Olatunji

7 years ago

Hmmmm Randy, that is the million dollar question. In my experience I can safely say that if I had to pick another team I would favour attitude over aptitude. A can-do, enthusiastic attitude in team members will enable the team go through the processes- Norming, Storming and Performing- easier than when the team members have just aptitude. With attitude your team will blend easy and deliver in a way that “addeth no sorrow”. I guess I have smartly dodged the question of whether I would wipe the slate clean or not!

randygravitt

7 years ago

I love that principle Layi … Attitude over aptitude. I will add that to my selection arsenal moving forward. Thank you for commenting and I hope you have a great day!

Coach Brown

7 years ago

Now you are talking my language… the first thing I pick is a well grounded and experienced “coach” and key staff members. And I assume I am the General Manager who has the primary job of recruiting talent. The players selected would not be all future Hall of Famers – that would create too much tension among the ranks. Based on the coach’s vision of how he wants the offense and defense to be like, get the best talent in the key positions and then find complementary “team” players who are “winners” and “hard workers” to complete the roster. You can have a full roster of superstars and a weak coach and only chaos will reign, losses will follow. What makes Alabama a national championship threat every year is not the talent of the players, though that helps – but Nick Saban and his staff have a clear vision of what they want and they know how to mold young talent to become stars through their system. Good coaches know attitude trumps ability every time! Sorry for the long response….it is football season again.

randygravitt

7 years ago

Thanks Coach. There seems to be a theme emerging here of attitude over aptitude. Also it really does go back to leadership doesn’t it. Though not a fan of Saban, It is clear his leadership has made all the difference at Alabama. I appreciate your insights today!

Coach Brown

7 years ago

I was reluctant to use Saban too, Spurrier is a better example of a winning coach — wherever he has gone with whatever talent he has been given he has consistently won. Leaders get the best out of their players and teach them how to win. Lombardi (your hero) turned good Packers into champions. Thanks.

S Scott Johnson

7 years ago

Great post and I agree with all the comments. I always try to evaluate my present team and ask first how this team needs to adapt to changing business conditions–technology, processes, philosophy. So I would pick new team members who are both a fit with my present team and someone who’s a good long-term investment for the company–not just my team. Someone who can meet the business needs 5 to 10 years down the road. Someone who will move up in the company. I often look for a team member who can complement or make up for weaknesses in my present team members. Existing team members usually embrace this and it forces them to rely on each other. I’ve also come to realize the importance of personality styles or work styles. You need a good mix or balance of different styles–worker bees and salesmen and strategists.

randygravitt

7 years ago

These are the great thoughts Scott. Thanks for commenting today!

Jim Calvin

7 years ago

There is wealth of insight within your post and the comments already shared. I once heard a wise person say when hiring people and building strong teams that one should “Pick for character and train for competence!” Both are needed on winning teams. One is the fruit that reflects a lifetime of habits, choices, and behaviors. The other represents the specific skills needed to carry out the mission of the organization. The organization that this wise gentleman runs has several levels of screening and interviews within their hiring process to ensure that they hire people of character who will embrace their mission and complement the work of the organization. They then invest heavily in training those individuals and equipping them with the competence to perform their tasks with confidence.

randygravitt

7 years ago

Great stuff, Jim. Thanks for adding to the discussion!

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