Gary Vaynerchuck is a successful entrepreneur, author, and CEO of VaynerMedia. Among marketing professionals, he is known for his skill in social media marketing and brand building in the digital space. He is also known for tireless work ethic. He has frequently pointed to gratitude as his motivation. He wrote:
Knowing that I was born in Belarus in the former Soviet Union, probably the least capitalist place in the whole world—and having had the serendipity of being able to come to the most remarkable country on earth when I was three—I have a full perspective on where I come from. I got really lucky that what I’m great at (entrepreneurship and business) is really appreciated in the U.S. My perspective on both the health and wellness of my family, as well as where I came from, allows me to handle anything and everything. My gratitude allows me to step away from any issues and remind me of all the great things I’ve been given. It’s impossible not to stay motivated or get too down when you’re feeling grateful.
I appreciate his perspective and fully agree. Here are three reasons that gratitude makes leaders more effective:
1. Gratitude fuels work ethic.
When we are grateful, we want to maximize the opportunities that have been given to us. When we are ungrateful, we waste countless amounts of time being frustrated that we have not received what we are owed. Instead of attacking each day with appreciation for the opportunity, ingratitude causes people to complain they are not getting what they deserve or have earned.
2. Gratitude is attractive.
G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” We want to be around leaders who are happy and optimistic, who are excited and thankful for the opportunities. No one wants to follow a leader who is always complaining, who is unthankful. When we are grateful we are simultaneously encouraging. By how they approach life, thankful leaders are always reminding people that there are things to be thankful for and moments to enjoy.
3. Gratitude crushes pride.
Pride always leads to destruction. It robs people of perspective and emboldens foolishness. Therefore, effective leaders are humble and realize they have not earned all they have. They realize that they have received, that they have been given. One of Cicero’s most famous statements is: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” Just as pride has been called the parent of all sins, Cicero called gratitude the parent of all virtues. Gratitude is the opposite of pride because gratitude is joyful admission that we have received, not that we have achieved.
If you are a Christian, you are commanded to be grateful. Gratitude is part of our faith because we believe we have received everything we have. The Christian faith is a receiving faith, not an achieving faith. We receive His forgiveness and grace. We don’t earn it.
The apostle Paul reminded a group of Christians that lived in the city of Corinth that everything they had was from the Lord, not something they earned or deserved. He wrote: For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you didn’t receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as if you hadn’t received it? (I Corinthians 4:7)
Life is so much fuller when we remember that all we have is a gift from our good and perfect Father. Our leadership is much more effective when we remember that our roles and opportunities are from the Lord.