Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so there’s no better time to reflect on the people and things you’re grateful for as a business leader. As I think about my own entrepreneurial journey, I’m filled with appreciation for the team members who have dedicated themselves to helping our business reach its goals, often when the odds were stacked against us. I know I’m not the only grateful entrepreneur, and this month, I connected with 10 founders and executives to learn how they express their thanks to their teams. For more info, click here.
GRATITUDE/ SPIRITUALITY/WELLNESS & HEART HEALTH
As an interventional cardiologist, I work on some of the most challenging clinical cases including amputations resulting from peripheral arterial disease (PAD). When you are running a business in private practice and operating daily, it puts things into perspective. An attitude of gratitude is absolutely critical in order to get through the day when dealing with such extreme cases of cardiovascular disease. Business issues pale in comparison to the life or death moments I am faced with daily with patients which really puts things into perspective for me as a business owner.
I strongly believe that when dispensing gratitude, we should start from the top as entrepreneurs. I personally journal three things every day that I feel grateful for in my business and private practice. People often focus on where they are and where they could be on the growth trajectory of their business – the ‘ forward gap’ if you will, but they often forget to be grateful for where they are and where they started from – the ‘reverse gap’! I constantly remind myself and feel extremely humbled about where we have come from as a group and as a business and I am proud of the journey. I share this with my team and together we cherish the journey of our enterprise. Every day, we focus on where we used to be and now where we are and how each of us has enjoyed this journey.
We take every opportunity to create a higher, more fulfilling mental and emotional state that sustains us throughout the day leading to great momentum in reminding ourselves of our mission, our core values and truly being there for our patients in every way possible.
We then share this with our patients and make them part of our gratitude by expressing our mantra:
“You enter our office as a patient, but you’ll leave as a friend and a family member.”
How I practice gratitude as a business leader.
We start our weekly meeting with gratitude exercises where we each talk about at least one thing we are grateful for in each domain of our lives and in the practice – personal gratitude for our own physical and emotional health, gratitude for our coworkers, gratitude for our patients, gratitude for humanity and the entire universe!
We express our appreciation towards one another for even the smallest of the accomplishments.
We have a ‘patient gratitude wall’ in our waiting area at the reception.
We get thank you letters from patients and their family members, but more importantly, I see our team members expressing their heartfelt thank you to one another too! It gives the team and the leadership including myself a safe space that allows us to be both vulnerable and grateful at the same time. We extend it now with everyone bringing photos of their kids, significant others and various family members, pets and all of their loved ones and we all get to indirectly participate in each other’s lives.
I’ve personally made it my mission to help individuals on my team identify their true passion and true potential and help enable those goals.
Even when we were a much smaller business, I would send my employees for training and continued education in their desired fields. I strongly encouraged them to attend personal development courses and seminars. I’ve been very successful in cultivating leadership qualities in my employees and have tried to do this by leading with example!
Why should business leaders practice gratitude?
Business leaders should practice gratitude because business is after all a spiritual practice!
Most businesses fail not because they were bad businesses, but because the leaders didn’t have the right psychology and skillsets.
You can’t grow a business unless you first grow as a person. If you want to lead others, you have to lead yourself first and gratitude is the absolute magical sauce! When leaders value and appreciate gratitude, the employees also show appreciation and a trickle-down effect begins that starts from the top and goes all the way in every employee of the company and builds stronger and more fulfilling relationships that last longer and lead to an incredible company culture.
This culture leads to more efficiency, better relationships with patients, a more confident workforce and absolute transparency and ownership of every task performed.
A company with a culture of gratitude and happy employees with dedication to a higher purpose than profit alone – is the ultimate ‘Midas touch’ leading to amazing results and exponential growth in business. This is especially true in medical practices because this ‘trickle down gratitude’ leads to happier and more appreciative patients and family members and this positive psychology is well proven to lead to much better clinical outcomes as well.
I believe that ultimately each business has a higher purpose beyond just profits. For our medical practice, that higher purpose is to create a much better overall wellbeing for our patients and their loved ones. Starting a trickle-down gratitude approach can increase momentum and lead to a happier work place with humble employees who are very likely to achieve and emulate this higher purpose!
Dr. Anuj Shah was recently quoted in FORBES. Click here to read the full article titled, “How These Entrepreneurs Make gratitude a daily practice.”