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Leading with Gratitude

Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results

By Adrian Gostick, Chester Elton
15-minute read
Audio available
Leading with Gratitude by Adrian Gostick, Chester Elton

Leading with Gratitude (2020) explores a surprising but extraordinarily powerful tool that leaders can use to significantly increase team productivity and cohesion, while increasing staff retention. By learning how to express gratitude in meaningful ways, leaders can improve workplace culture, arrive at better solutions, and make productivity skyrocket. 

  • Leaders looking to increase team productivity
  • Managers facing staff retention challenges
  • Business owners wanting to better understand their companies at a grassroots level

Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton are the coauthors of Wall Street Journal best sellers The Carrot Principle, The Best Team Wins, and All In. Translated into over 30 languages, their books have sold to 1.5 million readers around the globe. Gostick and Elton are also cofounders of The Culture Works, which helps companies recruit and retain stellar employees.

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Leading with Gratitude

Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results

By Adrian Gostick, Chester Elton
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Leading with Gratitude by Adrian Gostick, Chester Elton
Synopsis

Leading with Gratitude (2020) explores a surprising but extraordinarily powerful tool that leaders can use to significantly increase team productivity and cohesion, while increasing staff retention. By learning how to express gratitude in meaningful ways, leaders can improve workplace culture, arrive at better solutions, and make productivity skyrocket. 

Key idea 1 of 9

The best way to glean solutions from your employees is to do it in person.

No doubt you’ve heard the proverb, “Two heads are better than one.” But what about a whole team of heads, or a whole organization of them? Would we then be moving into “Too many cooks spoil the broth” territory? Well, it turns out that when it comes to soliciting ideas in business, “The more the merrier.” 

The key message here is: The best way to glean solutions from your employees is to do it in person.

Employees are a font of knowledge because they’re at the frontline of your business. They’ll often have insights that you won’t be aware of, like which items on your restaurant’s menu are left half-eaten on the plate. So, what’s the most effective way of tapping into this great resource?

Start by getting in touch with your staff in person, and actually listening to them. This is the policy of Kent Taylor, the founder and CEO of the hugely successful restaurant chain, Texas Roadhouse. With almost 600 establishments and a team numbering nearly 60,000, you wouldn’t think Taylor would have the time to talk – let alone really listen – to employees. But this is exactly what he does. Every week, he calls a store at random and asks servers for customer feedback. All his store managers have his cell number, too. That’s how he found out his mac and cheese wasn’t hitting the spot. He learned of this after an area manager’s daughter made a book about why she didn’t like it! If Taylor didn’t encourage open communication, he might never have known.

Implementing staff ideas is a huge motivator because it shows that you value what your employees have said. If you realize an idea isn’t viable, use the opportunity to explain why. This makes the employee feel respected, so they won’t be put off offering ideas in the future.

Finally, make sure you take the time to thank employees for their contributions. The simple gesture of gratitude increases staff confidence – a vital quality for innovative thinking. Taylor makes a point of writing thank you notes to employees who’ve come up with great ideas. If he can manage it with 60,000 staff members, the rest of us have no excuse not to.

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