The leader’s most powerful tool boils down to two compelling words: “Thank you.”

Before you dismiss this idea, let’s look at the science behind the expression of gratitude – in our homes, schools, communities, and workplaces.

Author, professor, and scientist Robert Emmons shares research that found people that practice gratitude enjoy significant physical, psychological, and social benefits. Some of those benefits include a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, higher levels of positive emotions, higher alertness, more compassion, and less isolation.

Gratitude doesn’t come as naturally to us humans as crankiness. We notice and talk about things going badly more than we notice and talk about things that are going great.

In order to act from a place of gratitude, we have to train ourselves to be on the lookout for good things around us.

We have to pay attention – we have to observe good things, notice good things, and express appreciation for those good things.

The cool thing is that people are doing good things all the time – at home, in our communities, at work – everywhere. We just don’t notice them.

In today’s three-minute episode of my Culture Leadership Charge video series, I share how to ensure your “thank you’s” have positive impact.

This is episode sixty-eight of my Culture Leadership Charge series. Each episode is a short (two-to-three-minute) video that describes proven culture leadership and servant leadership practices that boost engagement, service, and results across your work teams, departments, regions, companies – and even homes and neighborhoods.

You’ll find my Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on my YouTube and my iTunes channels. If you like what you see or hear, please subscribe!

Make respect as important as results in your workplace with @scedmonds' #Culture #Leadership Charge videos & podcasts. #WorkPlaceInspiration #PurposefulCulture Share on X

Photo © Adobe Stock – fizkes. All rights reserved.

How often do you express gratitude to others around you? What is the impact of your “thank you’s” on others? Share your insights or questions on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers: Good Comes First (2021) and The Culture Engine (2014).
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Reader Interactions


  1. Candy Wood says

    This is great advice. As simple as it sounds, it requires more reprogramming of the brain than most realize. When is the last time you called the restaurant manager over to compliment the wait staff verses complaining? You can change the direction of someone’s entire day with a few words of kindness. These videos are excellent reminders of purposeful behaviors we should be executing every day.

    • S. Chris Edmonds says

      Thank you, Candy! Reprogramming is a great term for the effort it requires for us to see the good & say something/praise!



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