'Gratitude Pays Dividends

Gratitude Pays Dividends

November 2, 2023


Happy National Gratitude Month! How will you be celebrating in your business?

With the Thanksgiving holiday taking up a major place on the calendar, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that November is recognized as National Gratitude Month.

Many businesses use Thanksgiving as the time they send their holiday greetings to their employees and customers, focusing on appreciating all of the positive things about the relationships they share.

That’s a good thing, but good leaders understand that gratitude is not something to be highlighted once a year. It’s the attitude that should prevail in your business all year round. When gratitude is part of your organizational culture, there are many benefits for individual employees, customers, teams, and the business as a whole.

Here are 4 ways that gratitude pays big dividends:

Gratitude is good for you – Studies have shown that living in a climate of gratitude improves overall wellbeing, reduces stress, and builds resilience.  Thriving people create healthy and thriving businesses.

Gratitude builds relationships – When people feel grateful, they’re willing to devote more effort to help others, to be invested in maintaining relationships, and to consider the good of others as well as their own personal needs.

Gratitude reduces conflicts – When gratitude is a focus in the workplace, people are generally more positive and committed to the common good. This encourages compromise and collaboration, rather than competition and conflict. When disagreements do arise, the ability to share common ground through gratitude can help lead to shared solutions, rather than ongoing conflict.

Gratitude can save money – Employees who feel appreciated are likely to have lower turnover than employees who feel unrecognized and unappreciated. Customers who feel valued and appreciated are more likely to remain loyal to your brand. Customer and employee acquisition are significant expenses for any business. When you can reduce these costs, you build the bottom line for your business. The good news is, expressing gratitude is not an expensive proposition.

Celebrate National Gratitude Month with us by making gratitude an element of the culture in your workplace. You’ll reap the benefits all year long.


Chris Ann Williams

'Lessons from the Trees

Lessons from the Trees

October 18, 2023


Can you feel it? Fall is in the air. The nights are just slightly cooler and there’s a bit less humidity. Soon, we will begin to see the leaves turn from green to hues of orange, yellow, and brown.

And eventually, the trees will shed their leaves, letting go of what no longer serves them and making space for the new growth to come in the spring. The shedding is not a random or accidental process, but something planned and controlled in the natural wisdom of the plant’s DNA.

Trees have a valuable lesson for us in both our personal and our business lives. Autumn leaves have outlived their usefulness in the current season but can provide nourishment for new growth to come after the winter is over.

As human beings, we may not find it so easy to let go. It’s not necessarily part of our inherent nature. However, the shedding process is just as essential to our well-being as it is to the survival of the trees.

We need to let go to move forward, to keep growing. It makes good sense to follow the rhythm of nature and do some intentional shedding in the fall season as we begin our planning for the year to come.

Take a minute to think about what you might need to shed in your business or personal life to make room for new growth. It’s important to know what no longer serves you…what no longer merits your investment in time or money.

Here are some suggestions for things that you are better off shedding to make space for something new:

  • Work that can be easily delegated to others
  • Online social networks or social media connections that don’t bring in prospects or nurture existing relationships
  • Services or products that cost more to deliver than they contribute to your bottom line
  • Work that is no longer aligned with your vision and values
  • Team members who are not carrying their weight or who create conflict in the workplace
  • Negative thoughts or attitudes that weigh you down rather than lift you up.

Once you’ve identified what you need to let go of, let the trees be your example. Use this season to intentionally shed what no longer serves you.

You’ll be surprised what beautiful new growth will greet you in the new year.

Happy Fall!



Chris Ann Williams, CEO

'Who Keeps Things Running?

Who Keeps Things Running?

October 11, 2023


Managers get too little credit. Everybody is always talking about leaders and visionaries or workers who get things done. Sometimes the managers get overlooked – or worse, blamed when things go wrong.

Why is that?

Think about it. When we consider projects or goals, we spend a lot of time focusing on the beginning, creating the vision and mission, setting the course, and describing the goal. Leaders navigate those waters.

A fair amount of our focus also goes to all of the milestones and measures, the tasks that need to be done.

But what about the middle part of the project? That’s the domain of managers like you, and it’s the glue that holds the whole thing together. If you don’t do your job well, the whole project can fall apart.

Here are five essential roles that managers play in keeping things running and making the business successful.

Monitoring the “big picture” – Because managers sit between the executives and line workers, they are able to see in both directions. As a manager, it’s your role to see things from a grounded perspective. Not too far in the future or high in the clouds and not too far down in the nitty-gritty details. Good managers have 360-degree vision and make sure everyone can see what they need to see.

Communication – Managers move information up and down the pipeline (or grapevine). As a manager, you have more frequent interaction with line staff and with executive leadership than they do with each other. Making sure that information is relevant, timely, and accurate and keeping the channels open is essential for organizational success.

Mediation – Because they see the big picture, managers are often called upon to mediate between executives and line staff. Often, this can be accomplished by using language that aligns with the needs and values of each side and finding common ground that can serve as a starting point for problem-solving.

Managing Change – change is a constant in organizations and the task of ensuring that change will be successful often falls to managers. Because you keep your eyes on the big picture, as a manager, you may be the first to notice that change is occurring or that it needs to occur. Making sure everyone is prepared for change and has the resources and information they need to navigate change successfully is part of your responsibility. Making sure that an anticipated change is aligned with organizational values and helping others to understand that alignment will keep a change process moving smoothly until the change is accomplished.

Team Building – As a manager, you are the head coach and chief cheerleader for your organization. One of your key roles is to support and facilitate positive relationships between members of each team and across all levels of the company. When people feel supported and appreciated, they are more likely to be productive and stay engaged. That translates to organizational success and profitability.

Leaders, executives, and line staff are all important to the success of your organization, but it’s the managers who keep things running and make corrections when things go astray.

Today, we’re celebrating you and the important work that you do.