I’m an early riser and it’s typically still dark outside when I get out of bed.

This morning, the stars lit up the sky and the crescent moon was delicately placed over my neighbor’s fireplace, with a backdrop of smoke drifting up into the clouds.

As I sat mesmerized by the picture-perfect morning, my thoughts wandered to you.

You and my Upside family – those I have the privilege of sharing my thoughts on leadership with every Monday morning.

So, I want to pause and say, “Thank you.”

I’m grateful that I get to play a small part on your leadership journey.

I’m grateful that you being part of this community inspires me to grow as a person and as a leader, diving deeper into what it takes to be the kind of courageous leader that is worth following.

I’m grateful for your willingness to stand beside me when my vulnerability challenges your own perceptions and paradigms.

This is what’s been on my mind this morning and it has been humbling.

Gratitude is both an essential ingredient in leadership and required on the journey to becoming your best.

Cultivating gratitude starts in the mind because you have to genuinely feel the gratitude you express – or you’ll come off sounding insincere.

One of the 1st habits I’ve created in my morning routine is expressing the gratitude I feel.

Giving thanks for the countless blessings in my life doesn’t stop in the morning; it happens all throughout the day.

Thank you.

I appreciate you.

I’m deeply grateful for…

When gratitude is spoken aloud, it’s given life. It changes the giver and the receiver.

Close friends.


Loved ones.

My grandfather was the first person who demonstrated to me the subtleties of leadership and specifically the value of appreciating people and life.

He belonged to countless social clubs and people described him as kind and generous.

He was from the generation where the expression of love and appreciation was frowned upon, and yet he had a quiet, subtle way of saying it.

When I went to prom he said, “Wow. You look solid.” When I said, “I love you,” his response was, “Me too.”

While he did discipline me for being rude to my Mom, I never saw him show unkindness.

He shared his limited resources and was generous and fun to be around.

In his unique Columbo-like way, he expressed gratitude not by the hundreds of thank you’s, but rather by his actions.

Great leaders get there’s always something to be grateful for which is why it’s an included component on leadership presence, and part of the 5th Pillar of Leadership taught at Design Your Destiny Live.


The Upside Challenge of the week is to start a gratitude habit if you don’t already have one.

Notice how you are feeling before taking note of the things you are thankful for.

Take the time to be grateful.

Then, notice and write down what being grateful does for your attitude. How does it affect your actions and others around you?

The world needs you and your brilliance.

Leave a Comment