Have an attitude of gratitude!

June 7, 2010

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Are you a leader who appreciates and recognizes the members of your team? You do recognize that your success is as a result of your “team” not just your own…right? It’s so important to have an attitude of gratitude not only in your heart, but in your actions as well.

buddha3I’m often asked about the required skills one needs to be a leader in the MLM industry. Recently a friend shared an amazing story with me about the power of “gratitude and recognition”. These are definitely 2 traits that all leaders have and so let me recount this wonderful story.

This great story is about Captain Charles Plumb, who was a graduate from the Naval Academy. After 74 l combat missions over North Vietnam, he was shot down in his plane. Although he parachuted to safety, he was captured and tortured and spent 2,103 horrific days in a small box-like cell.

Surviving the nightmare, Captain Plumb received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit and two Purple Hearts. After retuning to the USA, he became a public speaker talking about his wartime experiences.

Charlie and his wife were sitting in a restaurant one day when he was approached by a man from a nearby table, who walked over and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!” The man said this with sheer excitement in his voice.

Charlie, surprised that he was recognized, replied, “How in the world did you know that?” The man replied, “I packed your parachute.” Charlie looked up and was astonished. The man shook his hand, gave a thumbs-up, and said, “I guess it worked!”

Charlie shook the man’s hand, and said, “It most certainly did work. If it had not worked, I would not be here today.”

That night, Charlie could not sleep thinking about the man. He wondered if he might have seen him and not even said, “Good morning, how are you?” Thinking of the many hours the sailor had spent bending over a long wooden table in the bottom of the ship, carefully folding the silks and weaving the shrouds of each parachute…each time holding the fate of someone he didn’t know in his hands.

Charlie began to realize that along with the “physical parachute”, he needed mental, emotional and spiritual parachutes. Throughout his long and very painful ordeal, he called upon and needed each of these elements to survive.

So, let me ask a question…as a leader, how many times in the course of your day, week or month, do you not take the opportunity to thank those people in your Team who are “packing your parachute”? So often we’re all guilty of forgetting the idea of an attitude of gratitude.

I for one, am so appreciative of everything that everyone else does that I have no interest or desire to do myself, but so appreciate the person doing that particular job or chore that I’m not prepared or able to do… it’s just having a sense of gratitude that makes us appreciate everyone around us and the values they bring.
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