Today’s episode is a refreshing break from the news of the day and the coronavirus, but is a really important conversation about how we can lead with gratitude in the midst of stress, challenge, and uncertainty, which is very much related to what’s going on in the world right now. One of the most influential voices in workplace trends over the past two decades, Chester Elton, has been called ‘The Apostle of Appreciation.’ Along with Adrian Gostick, Chester has written twelve books on recognition, leadership, and culture, including five New York Times bestsellers. Their latest book, Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results, is a culmination of their years of work in this area and Chester has some interesting insights to share. Why is it so difficult to express gratitude in the workplace? How can we balance leading with gratitude against tackling business challenges? Will being grateful cause us to lose our edge? These are just a few of the topics Chester discusses with me in this enlightening conversation about the power of gratitude at work (and in life).
[1:41] This episode’s guest is Chester Elton.
[4:25] Chester feels that his latest book, Leading with Gratitude, is a culmination of his work over the years.
[5:31] What was Chester’s journey to get into his current field, and how did he start working with Adrian Gostick?
[10:43] How has Chester’s work and business expanded and evolved in the 20 years that he has been doing it?
[13:52] Chester shares how he and Adrian found the path to write specifically this book, Leading with Gratitude?
[15:06] Whether it’s being a great leader or building a great team, what really matters is the soft skills, not the hard skills.
[16:37] In the business or professional context, we don’t think about gratitude so much as appreciation and recognition, and it is the place we express the least gratitude. Why?
[20:29] Being grateful in the face of adversity is more necessary than ever, given the current context, but how can we approach this effectively?
[23:16] What are some specific practices that leaders can use to bring more gratitude into their leadership and to their teams?
[27:46] At a personal level, what are some of Chester’s gratitude practices?
[31:54] How does Chester maintain a work-life harmony?
[37:03] One of the reasons we don’t focus on gratitude as much as we could is the sense that being grateful would cause us to lose our edge or become complacent. Chester speaks to this myth and highlights some leaders who disprove it.
[43:56] What is Chester’s inspiration for focusing on philanthropic work?
[49:01] What are some things that Chester is grateful for in his life?
[53:13] Chester shares his final thoughts on gratitude, appreciation, and living a better life.
Leading in the Midst of Uncertainty (Forbes article)
“The difference between good leaders and extraordinary leaders is not their hard skills, it’s always their soft skills.” — @chestereltonClick to tweet
“Our research shows that when you have a boss that expresses gratitude and appreciation for your work, 83% of people do better work.” — @chestereltonClick to tweet