Be Grateful

Be grateful. Phillip Kane's blog.
Asian Community News Network

Friday, November 25, 2022 – The Thanksgiving Week

This week, at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Japanese national football team delivered a stunning 2-1 upset over heavily favored Germany. But as much as this installment of The Week could be about the near absolute likelihood of achieving whatever you believe you can do, or about how more-nimble Davids can prevail over too-slow and too-confident Goliaths seven days a week and twice on Sundays as long as they stick to the more-nimble playbook, it’s about neither of those things. It’s about gratitude and respect and how one begets the other.

See, after cheering on the Samarai Blue for 90 minutes, plus a bit of extra time, the Japanese fans stayed behind to help clean the stadium … not just the part they were sitting in, but the entire stadium. For Japanese football fans, Thanksgiving isn’t a once-a-year thing – it’s a 365 day a year thing. And because they are grateful for each day and everything in it, they likewise show respect for all they encounter; like football stadiums. It is not something the Japanese have to stop and think about. There are no dots to connect. It is reflexive … a common and simple truth: One will respect that which they are grateful for.

And that’s the point for the week.

Japanese football fans do not clean stadiums out of a sense of moral obligation or duty. They do so from a place of love and mutual respect – a place that is rooted in gratitude. The former simply flows from the latter. Easily. Without great thought or effort. Without gratitude, respect is nigh on impossible. Surely, one can behave in a respectful manner toward someone or something without having any sense of gratitude in their heart. But there is a world of difference between respect and being respectful.

True, caring leaders and those who fully buy into what they are trying to accomplish know these things. That’s why they wake up each day with grateful hearts and are careful, at any point in any day, when they feel that sense of gratitude slipping away, to restart their day – seeking to re-find that almost childlike sense of gratitude, and ensuring that it connects up with a spirit of respect for everybody and everything in their life. Because they do, people are more likely to want to follow them, and will more willingly engage in difficult tasks or invest long hours on their behalf. Think about your own experience. Recall the best boss, teacher, coach, leader, or superior of any other kind that you’ve had in your life. I’m willing to go out on a limb to bet you that this person was exceedingly grateful for whatever they had in their life.

And it was that spirit of gratitude that led them to first appreciate then respect you. And since, after all, because all of us want simply, and not much more than but, to be respected, those who lead with grateful hearts will, by the sheer business of odds, be apt to reach all of those around them, forming many-stranded cords of nearly unbreakable strength which become capable of accomplishing extraordinary things that exactly no one might ever have thought them capable. 

But it all starts with one person … waking up with a grateful heart … behaving with respect for others … picking up the very first piece of trash.

So, be that person. Be thankful for all that you have in the world.

Be grateful.

And win.

Gratitude News

AndWin Welcomed 1000th

Andwin welcomed its 1000th unique visitor
M. Black | | License Paid

Today, March 12, 2021, Phillip Kane’s blog welcomed its 1,000th unique visitor. 

Just over 2 months ago, the AndWin blog made its debut, offering a different, better way for leaders tired of the outdated, never should have been permitted in the first place, table-pounding style of authoritarian leadership.

Now, some 70 posts and 1,000 visitors later, is a clearly established resource for caring leaders. 

In between, in support of Phillip’s book deal with John Hunt Publishing, London, we’ve also launched Phillip’s author site features the latest information about Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership. The site also contains sample content from the book, news about upcoming events and helpful links to reviewers and quality booksellers. 

We’d like to thank you for your part in our achieving our 1,000th visitor so soon. You’ve exceeded our wildest expectations. And for that, we are tremendously grateful. 

Check back each week for new advice about caring and winning. 

In the meantime, remember, leadership begins when it stops being about us. 

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE


Lead with a Grateful Heart

Lead with a grateful heart. Phillip Kane's blog.

Thanksgiving 2020

This year has been one of great challenge and in many respects, significant loss. For many, life and business have become more difficult. Year over year results are well off. Lay-offs and other austerity measures have become the new normal. The world is doing more with less. And within three degrees of separation, everyone knows of someone lost to this virus. It’s been hard to find a lot to be grateful for. But for those we have the privilege to lead, a grateful heart is what they want above almost anything else. 

People will endure nearly anything – if they believe they are doing it for people who truly appreciate them. People need to know that they are valued. Humans simply want to believe that what they do matters. And they want to do it for people they believe actually care.  There’s no way to fake it. Either you care, or you don’t; and people can spot a fraud a mile away. And throwing money at the problem won’t fix it either. People don’t want to be showered with cash. They want to be showered with thanks – when they deserve it. Gratitude is free. But it has to be real. 

That’s the point for the week.

Pretending to be grateful won’t work. Either you are or you aren’t. When you are people will know. Any behavior must be genuine. The point isn’t to change your behavior so dramatically that people wonder what happened to the real you. The object is to show people that you are truly thankful for them and the contributions they make to your success and the success of the organization.  It isn’t hard.  A handwritten note.  A handshake or a literal pat on the back.  Public recognition for a job well done.  Words of encouragement vs. a dressing down when things don’t go so well. These simple acts of kindness, done with genuine feeling, convey to others that they matter, that they are valued, and that you wouldn’t want to go through a fight with anyone but them.  Best of all, while they don’t cost a dime, to those on the receiving end, they are near priceless.

Simple acts of gratitude which convey sincere thanks and appreciation for the efforts of others are more important than money, or promotions, or prizes.  This is a fact.  A $500 bonus is nice. But if it doesn’t come with a sincere expression of gratitude it’s meaningless. It’s a waste of money. Folks will take it and spend it, but it won’t do one thing to engender loyalty or stickiness. A turkey in a box at Thanksgiving?  Same. Unless it’s accompanied by a speech or letter to the assembled masses expressing genuine thanks for what they do, it’s a waste.  People simply want leaders who wake up each day with a grateful heart.  And right now, it’s more important than ever, because people are scared.

This pandemic has brought with it a great amount of fear. Like at no other time in recent history, people are afraid – for their health, for their jobs, for the safety and security of their loved ones, and for their lives. Fear is a deeply disruptive emotion. It causes humans to behave in ways that might otherwise be viewed as irrational, or at least unexpected. When fearful, humans become focused only on their own survival, on extricating themselves from the threat. Working in a thankless environment adds to their fear. Workers become insecure.  Worried for their jobs, they lose focus, they begin to look elsewhere, they become cynical, and sometimes bitter.  Typically, unenlightened leaders, in response, double down on command and control, tightening reins, increasing discipline and generally making matters worse. But grateful leaders stop these problems before they even start by providing the reassurance that comes with gratitude.  When companies tell associates that their efforts are valued, their associates feel more secure.  They spend less time worrying about impending job actions and more time on efforts to enable their companies to win.  Because fundamentally all of us want to win.

No one wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, “I cannot wait to go lose today!”  To the contrary, humans have an innate desire to succeed.  Companies that foster a culture of gratitude, likewise foster a culture of winning.  Every event eliciting a thank you feels like a win.  Small wins beget bigger wins propelling the organization forward with speed and force, building capability sufficient to overcome virtually any obstacle.  All because its leader made the choice to show up with a grateful heart.

So lead with true gratitude, and win.

Happy Thanksgiving. 

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE