The Immediate Impact Of Grateful Leadership! - BusinessBlog : McGraw-Hill
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The Immediate Impact Of Grateful Leadership!

Guest post by Judith Umlas, author of Grateful Leadership.

Recently, I led two webinars for Thomson Reuters on Grateful Leadership: Using the Power of Acknowledgment to Engage All Your People and Achieve Superior Results. During the class, I asked each participant to acknowledge someone in their career who they had not previously acknowledged in a heartfelt, profound way. I’ve done this exercise with many thousands of people, and the results are dramatic and moving to me as well as to the individuals sharing their acknowledgments.

Almost immediately following one of these sessions, I received a delightful email exchange from a participant named Srinivasan, who is based in Bangalore, India..

I was thrilled to discover that  Srinivasan had heard and understood the message from my webinar, and had also acted almost immediately by acknowledging his whole team via email. They in turn had responded back to him, and I was lucky enough to receive permission from Srinivasan to share his wonderful example of Grateful Leadership.

Hi All,

Today attend[ed] the [virtual] session by Judith W. Umlas, author of “Grateful Leadership,”  who emphasized using the “Power of Acknowledgment” to engage all  your people and achieve superior results.

During…the session there was an exercise like this – Think of a person you should acknowledge. Why should he or she be acknowledged? Write a brief acknowledgement to that person. And, are you willing to deliver it to him or her? When?  – I could recall each one of you having contributed significantly during the last one week and thought, why not share such an acknowledgment today with each one of you?

Prafulla Devkumar – Excellent job done on the seamless coordination of the Mobile developer Summit and the leadership Chat session of Rahul Powar. Confidence demonstrated on preparing and sharing the Spend Report.

Berna Dsouza – Committed follow up with all teams and doubling the target on disposal of assets to NASCCOM.

Vijayalakshmi Balarajan – Ensuring all aspects of Peter Warwick’s visit and dedicated support towards managing the Karnataka Bandh Situation.*

Rashmi Doreswamy – Would like to appreciate the efforts put in by Rashmi D for the excellent coordination of the CSP project yesterday despite her personal exigencies.

I am proud of you all. Keep up the great job and I look forward to your committed engagement to achieve superior results.

Thank You.




* A Bandh is a form of protest or strike

And, wonders of wonders, within a few hours every member of the team wrote back to both thank and acknowledge Srini for his outstanding leadership! Even his boss, who was copied on the emails, acknowledged Srini for his contributions. These kinds of results are really what are at the core of Grateful Leadership, which shows how simple and effective it is to deliver messages of appreciation and acknowledgment. By doing this, your people will feel valued and will want to perform and take more initiative because they know their contributions are noticed and affirmed. When Grateful Leaders take action, the impact is immediate and sends positive ripples throughout the organization. Grateful Leaders like Srini can achieve more in terms of team satisfaction and overall business results, and the same outcome is possible for any leader once he or she makes the decision to Go Grateful.

Judith W. Umlas is SVP at International Institute for Learning (IIL). She is publisher of IIL Publishing and the project management website She has trained more than 20000 professionals including project managers engineers executives and C-Level leaders. Umlas is the author of The Power of Acknowledgment and has written articles appearing in Working Woman the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.


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