Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Why it pays to show gratitude


No matter what we are facing in life right now, there are things for which we can, and should, express gratitude. The act of focusing on the good things helps us keep moving forward during the tough times. In the long run, it pays to both feel and express gratitude for others and the good things happening around you.

When asked how they set themselves up for success, the most common response from thirty well-known high achievers was expressing gratitude. Staying positive and having an attitude of gratitude are common practices of some of the most successful people in the world.


As a leader, your success depends on the help of others. Showing gratitude will make you a more effective leader, and it will pay off in the following ways:

  • Increased trust: When you show your team how much you value their hard work and contributions, their trust in your leadership and direction increases. Unified efforts create value.
  • New opportunities: New doors open from unexpected sources. Leaders who show appreciation draw the interest of those with whom they come in contact, and they attract other leaders who will help them become more successful.
  • Internal peace: Having a thankful attitude for your blessings creates internal peace. The lack of internal conflict (within yourself and within your organization) frees you to pursue high-value activities that will pay big dividends.
  • Effortless collaboration: Your success ultimately hinges on collaboration with others. Having gratitude for those who help you become successful influences them to do more to help your cause.

We should be thankful for the people who make our lives happy. Albert Schweitzer said it well: “Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.” With a rekindled light, great things can happen.

We’re celebrating Thanksgiving in America this week. Think of the people who have made a difference in your life. Take a minute to thank them and express your appreciation for the positive impact they have made in your life. The payoff will reach beyond your expectations.

Questions: Why is gratitude important to you? How do you show gratitude? You can leave a comment in the space below.

The Product Management Perspective: The topic of gratitude is not often addressed in product management crowds. However, every product manager I know appreciates the people who work hard to make their products successful. Take a few minutes to express your gratitude to the people you work with. That simple act will increase their trust in what you’re asking them to do.

3 thoughts on “Why it pays to show gratitude

  1. Michael,

    You really touched on the crucial reasons on why gratitude is so important. Continuing with your theme of “effortless collaboration” – I think expressing gratitude gives people a sense that their work has a purpose. As a result, they will work better with others and produce more for the company.

    • Sam, thanks for contributing.

      You bring up a key point — people need to feel their work has a purpose. Working together, for a known purpose, is central to creating an effective organization.

  2. Pingback: Et si cela payait vraiment de faire preuve de gratitude… | DantotsuPM.com

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