Gratitude: The Key to True Success!
By Marshall Goldsmith
Hailed as the world’s #1 CEO Coach, Mark Thompson and I discuss the concept and practice of gratitude and how it makes a huge difference in your happiness as a person and the sustainability of your efforts as a leader.
Mark Thompson is a four-time CEO who today focuses exclusively on coaching global C-level executives. Hailed as the world’s #1 CEO Coach, he specializes in working with leaders in high-profile roles who have broad reach and incredible impact. Mark is a member of our 100 Coaches initiative and a best-selling author. This series will focus on the C-Suite and topics important to leaders at high levels who want to impact the entire organization in the most positive ways.
Our interview series focuses on the C-Suite and topics important to leaders at high levels who want to impact the entire organization in the most positive ways. This week we’ll discuss the concept and practice of gratitude and how it makes a huge difference in your happiness as a person and the sustainability of your efforts as a leader.
Below is an excerpt from our interview.
Marshall: Mark, it’s great to be with you. You’re a New York Times best-selling author and I think the new number one executive coach for CEOs and future CEOs in the world.
One thing that you focus a lot on is the concept of gratitude. Can you tell us a little about that?
Mark: Thank you Marshall. I’ve learned from so many leaders that gratitude is hugely important to sustaining your efforts as a leader.
I had the chance to meet Steve Jobs in the early days, just as he was going through that destructive period where he was thrown out of the company and felt humiliated for a dozen years. When he came back as Steve Jobs 2.0, he was willing to engage in a gratitude practice that I’d never seen before.
At the end of each day, he decided to say what went right and who helped achieve that during the day. The experience was anchoring and reinforcing not only to what was good about the day, but also to how he could do more of that instead of just focusing on the drama and dwelling on the past.
Charles Schwab is another example of how to show gratitude. He writes everyone who contributes at the company a person note. And, what do you do with those personal notes? Do you ever throw them away? No!
What about you? You’ve had the opportunity to touch so many lives around the world. What do you think about gratitude and its role as a leader?
Marshall: For me the most graphic example that I use to increase my own gratitude has nothing to do with business. I went to Africa in the great famine of 1984. I saw a lot of people starving to death. There is a photo in my library of me kneeling down on the ground and a woman is kneeling next to me. She’s measuring the arms of children between the ages of 2 and 16. If their arm was too big, they’re not hungry enough, they don’t get any food. If their arm was too small, they’re going to die anyway, so they don’t get any food. If their arm was in the middle, they get food.
The picture shows me looking into the camera and what I’m trying to do is send a message to the me today from me in the past. The message is this: Be grateful, be thankful for all you have. These people are just as good as you and me. They just lived in a world where they farmed and it quit raining. I use that picture to remind me to be grateful for all that I have because we do have so much.
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Who are you grateful for? In what special ways have they contributed to and touched your life? Mark and I would love to hear your answers to these questions! Please comment here on LinkedIn or send me an email to Marshall@Marshallgoldsmith.com.
You can follow Mark on Linkedin and learn more about his work on his website https://www.markcthompson.com/