My first real experience with leadership was in college when I was named Vice-President of the Indiana University Student Foundation, the largest student foundation in the country. We led, organized and ran a number of campus events designed to raise money for working students, the most notable being the “Little 500” bike race made famous in the movie, “Breaking Away.”
I loved every moment of my IUSF leadership experience.
Looking back, I know it’s because I was so grateful to have been given the opportunity to work on such laudable programs with people who genuinely inspired me. I worked closely with the President and the 30 seniors who were appointed, “Directors.” We spent hours every day at the building we called, “The White House” working together and bonding together as a little family. We supported each other through challenges we each faced during the course of our senior year and we certainly knew how to celebrate our successes!
To this day, I actually tear up when I go to the IUSF website and recall memories from so long ago. The lessons I learned in that role have stayed with me in every leadership role I’ve held, the most important being: we always lead by our example.
The Power of Gratitude
It was, to a large degree, because I was so grateful for the opportunity to play a leadership role at IUSF that I worked so hard and cherished every moment. I’ve discovered this is a thread that runs through my career. In the roles I was genuinely grateful for I gave more of myself because of how much I cherished the opportunity, and how much I cherished my colleagues and team members.
Gratitude, for me, has been a catalyst in my career. My gratefulness fueled my giving: to my role, to my colleagues and team members, and to the pursuit of the vision of the organization, which I held in the highest regard.
My question is, “Has it been a catalyst for you?” And beyond that, “How critical is gratitude to great leadership?”
Join me and Steve Woodruff (who I am exceptionally grateful for!) tomorrow night, November 22nd at 8:00 pm Eastern Time for a very special Leadership Chat focused on The Power of Gratitude in Leadership. I am sincerely grateful for every, single member of the Leadership Chat Community and hope to see you all there as we celebrate a very special time of year together!
Don’t forget – my new eBook, “The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership” launches on November 27th! Sign up for my newsletter to get notified of the launch!
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Photo is Giving Hands and Red Pushpin by Artotem.