As Thanksgiving approaches we realize, possibly as never before, just what being thankful truly means.
What an interesting 2020! As we reflect on the year, we are thankful we still have a job, or thankful for the health of family and friends, and appreciate the increased time spent with family at home… Although I realize that some of the same items mentioned may also cause undo stress and frustration at times. Whatever the year has brought, there is also the realization that WE STILL DON’T KNOW what the future holds and how long this current situation will last. Well, here’s a reality check for most for many of us…change happens, like it or not. We must be agile enough to move forward and create a better environment at work and at home for ourselves and those around us. How? Not by controlling the situation but through taking charge of what we can control…ourself, our attitude, our resilience, perseverance and commitment…and by being thankful.
Pilgrims & Perseverance
Children’s books or caricatures taught most of us the story of the first Thanksgiving. We were told that the Pilgrims came to America in search of religious freedoms and they celebrated their arrival and thankfulness for that freedom with an enormous banquet. However, we must remember the Pilgrims are real people and not simply a folklore story. Against great odds they made the famous 1620 voyage aboard the ship Mayflower. While the colonists were building houses, the group continued to live on the ship. Many of the colonists fell ill. They were probably suffering from scurvy and pneumonia caused by a lack of shelter in the cold, wet weather. Out of the original 102 who sailed from Europe, only 52 people survived the first year in Plymouth. However, the Pilgrims continued to persevere and were committed to making a better life for their future. In the fall of 1621, the colonists marked their first harvest with a three-day celebration of feasting and entertainment. In the 1800s this famous celebration became the basis for the story of the First Thanksgiving.
Leadership lessons from Pilgrims
There are several leadership lessons gleaned from the Pilgrims – they overcame challenges and sickness through resilience and perseverance. They were not thankful for the struggles but that they could move forward and overcome. They were committed to work together to achieve success. Finally, they were appreciative and celebrated that success together.
Your personal pilgrimage
As we face our current challenges, leaders must help their teams realize that we are resilient and will persevere. We can help each other succeed (even virtually). Leaders should encourage their teams and then show appreciation for hard work through celebrating success. This acknowledgement is often overlooked or undervalued but incredibly important to team morale and unity. Just as important, leaders should celebrate their own success as well, with a grateful attitude.
I encourage each of you to face this November from a fresh perspective. Discover new opportunities and create a better tomorrow. Take advantage of this time to reflect and commit to pursuing the next level for you and/or your team and organization. At LeadAdvantage, we believe that true leaders are made from the same mold as the first Pilgrims – with resilience, perseverance, commitment and an attitude of gratitude. Our customized coaching and virtual group workshops help you reach the next steps in your “pilgrimage.” Reach out today at www.leadadvantageinc.com.