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Book Review: Leading with Gratitude


This was one of those books where I found myself saying out loud "Yes!" when I would read certain parts. The advice is so basic and common sense - but as someone once said "commonsense isn't so common". In other words, read this book because you probably are making a lot of these mistakes.

The premise of the book is that showing gratitude is not something you do simply to make people happy, but that it has significant effects on business results (turnover, engagement, profitability, etc.). The beginning does a great job of providing data that builds this case quite effectively.

Then the book moves into the myths of gratitude. Myths was a nice way of referring to the bad excuses managers make for why they don't give gratitude. I can honestly say that I at one point either believed or heard someone say each one of these myths. At times, the sheer stupidity of the reason made me cringe.

After politely shaming all of us with these myths, they provide 8 great ways to show gratitude. What the book doesn't explicitly say is that most signs of gratitude are inexpensive and fast. It isn't a trip to Hawaii, it is a "thank you". It isn't a gold watch, it is a handwritten note.

My favorite practice is "give it now, give it often, and don't be afraid". I've often thought of getting some of those soft stress balls with different phrases that I could throw at a manager to remind them what to do. That phrase would be on one of them. My guess is, I'd be throwing that ball a lot.

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