What are you grateful for? Something important like hitting a big anniversary with your significant other and realizing you still totally dig each other? Something smaller like that seasonal donut or latte you indulged in (followed by a great workout)? Barely catching the train and getting to work on time? Realizing your career has taken you on a winding journey and you’re happy where you are right now?
Gratitude is powerful. It helps positively frame our thoughts and offers perspective.
I recently read Gratitude by Oliver Sacks. Facing a terminal cancer diagnosis, Saks reflects, “I cannot pretend that I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude.” While I’m interested in the science of why gratitude helps make people happy, it was this sentiment which moved me to not wait and integrate gratitude into my daily life immediately.
Gratitude at Work:
1. Grati-Tuesdays: During our Tuesday team meetings, everyone shares one thing for which they are grateful. Sometimes it’s a fellow team member and sometimes it’s personal. It doesn’t matter what is shared as the act of sharing has a positive impact on everyone in the group and builds a greater appreciation for each other and the good in the world.
2. Planning Meetings: We always begin our management meetings with gratitude. No matter what the team decides about what to invest in, who to hire or what our priorities should be for the next few years, it is always rooted in gratitude.
3. Companywide Emails: We share Core Values stories in companywide emails. Almost all are a thank you to someone in the company for exceeding expectations and making our lives better.
Gratitude at Home:
1. Morning Journaling: It’s intimidating to write every day. I admit I miss more often than I’d like, but I’m committed to writing five times every week. I bought a journal and write one sentence before work:
· My 10-year old son saying to me with a huge smile, “I’m Mr. Happy and you’re Mr. Smile!”
· The amazing 75 degree weather in late October in NYC with orange, yellow and red leaves decorating the trees.
· A member of my management team making the difficult decision of which candidate to hire and doing so with well thoughtful reasoning.
2. Family Dinner: One a week we go around the table and each person has the floor for as long as they want (within reason). There are no rules except you can’t say what you’re not grateful for! This has sparked amazing stories and a greater understanding of each other.
3. Recently, I’m really grateful:
· That my dad is 83 and still kicking and driving.
· That my team negotiated a new acquisition.
· That my team demonstrated tremendous creativity to help us hit our 2017 annual goals so we can once again go on our annual incentive trip somewhere warm and fun!
What are you grateful for today?
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About the Author
Robert Herzog, Founder and CEO, ZogCulture and ZogSports
I believe life is better with real personal connections, caring communities and a sense of play. I founded ZogSports after my close call on 9/11. In 2012, we launched ZogCulture to help create playful experiences at work so that employees can connect, be part of a community, and infuse play into the DNA of their company’s culture. We are directly impacting over 150,000 people per year across the country and have donated over $3.4M to charity. In 2017, Zog made the Crain’s Best Places to Work list (again!) and earned the prestigious B Corporation “Best For the World — Community” award.
If you’re interested in this sort of stuff, I have an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from Wharton and a BA in Economics (which I rarely use) from Brown. I live and play in NYC with my awesome wife of 15+ years and two super active, sporty boys.
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