06 Feb Leadership: Enjoy Your Work! (Appreciation)
I was helping at City Team men’s shelter and greeted a stranger in the recovery program. I asked how his day was going. He replied, “I am blessed today, I have another day to enjoy”. Then he told me his story, flooded with homelessness, addiction and drug use. Here was a man, toughened by circumstance and choice – fully appreciating each day God had given him to be alive. From dreadful to living again. Each new day was welcomed with a smile!
We say, “oh, we aren’t as bad off as that guy”, and bury ourselves with the pressing demands from our jobs. Sometimes, I wonder… maybe we are masking ourselves? Deep inside, we often complain, dislike our bosses, and grumble about our work tasks.
Leadership can be tough and time consuming. As described in the last two “Enjoy Your Work” articles, I mentioned that “purpose” and “strengths” can motivate you through each day with enthusiasm and engagement. Enjoyment is being your true self, knowing your purpose and applying your strengths.
The third piece is appreciation of the world around you, the people in your circle of influence, and your company. Yes, call it thankfulness, said it another way, gratitude. This is not sentimental schmaltz. Appreciation is understanding something priceless has been given to you – as a daily dose of enormous mental, physical, and emotional value. It surfaces from attitude. It says, “I am thankful for life, work relationships, development of character, fulfilling finishes, well-being perspectives, paychecks, clothes and a roof over my head…the list is endless. For many, God truly provides. For others, it’s self driven.
Your sense of purpose pilots your course, your strengths empower you, and appreciation wraps your outlook with an optimistic lens. You can change perspective and make conscious choices to find endeavors and people to appreciate. Thank the people who help you in your leadership role. You perform better today because of the patience, encouragement, and counsel of others. Be grateful for their investment in you – including your boss.
It’s easy to play “arm-chair” critic behind your desk. It’s more rewarding to appreciate those around you. It’s amazing how we gravitate to the negative side of the scale when we have the same time and power to make positive changes.
As a leader of people, ask yourself:
· How often am I quick to criticize, nitpick flaws and slow to praise others? You can change this today.
· How often do I complain about work? You can change this today.
· How often do I avoid those who “are in need of help” in my department? You can change this today.
· How often do I gossip about the boss? You can change this today.
Changes occur when appreciation becomes a daily pursuit and is expressed to others. Use your time wisely to uncover solutions for the advancement of the company rather than spend an inordinate time to nag what is broken.
Purpose, strengths, and appreciation enhances your work environment.
Will you welcome the new work day with a smile?