Do you believe you are blessed? Accountable leaders do.
Have you ever made a point of noticing when you have been on the receiving end of advantages and resources that others on the planet might not have easy access to — such as having enough food to feed yourself and your family? What about the ability to take a warm shower whenever you want, or to stay warm and dry in a snowstorm, or to go to sleep in a comfortable bed,, or to make a room bright, even at nighttime, just by flicking a switch? In other words, have you ever noticed the good things that come your way in life? Do you feel and express authentic gratitude when someone helps you? Have you ever felt gratitude for things that you might have previously taken for granted, such as close relationships with friends, family members, and colleagues?
If you have ever experienced any of that, and I am guessing you have, then you were strengthening the Accountable Mindset known as Gratitude. Gratitude is an essential part of any healthy relationship, and it is an implied commitment to the people in our lives.
We hear the word “gratitude” often, but it is easy to lose sight of what it looks like in action. People who adopt the Mindset of Gratitude make other people feel special. They do this naturally and authentically, without having to think about how to make someone feel special, because they are grateful for a given person’s presence in their life and their contributions, and they express that gratitude authentically. They have a way of making the conversation all about the other person — not all about them. They start from a commitment that sounds like this: “I would not be able to do what I do without you doing what you do — when you succeed, I succeed.” And they are genuinely grateful for the contributions of others.
Accountable leaders live in this Mindset; they know that everything is connected.
They freely and repeatedly acknowledge your contributions to the relationship, and are authentically appreciative for those contributions. This appreciation is not contrived, not fake — it is an integral part of who they are and what they believe. They usually make you feel that they know you have made a positive difference in their life, and because of that, you feel good about interacting with them. You look forward to the next conversation, and to the next opportunity to contribute. Their gratitude makes you grateful to be in that person’s orbit.
The opposite of Gratitude is the working assumption that you have an automatic right to resources, comforts, privileges, and relationships without experiencing any emotion of thankfulness for them. This is the polar opposite of Gratitude, the Mindset of Entitlement. A hallmark of Entitlement, which is a toxic mindset, is the belief that the world revolves around us and our desires, and that when something positive comes our way, we already had that gift coming, either as a result of our past actions or as a result of who we are. Entitled people consider being grateful for what they have received a waste of time and energy.
People in the Entitlement mindset tend to keep score about who got what, and they hold grudges when they do not receive something they think they deserve. Entitlement carries with it the assumption that agreements and commitments are something for other people to worry about, not something they have any obligation to take into account. As far as the entitled person is concerned, rules don’t apply to them.
Accountable leaders walk a very different path!