Bob’s Ramble: On Gratitude and Making Time for Family

Published 12/8/22

Giving thanks during the holiday season feels natural. Between reflecting upon your past year and spending more time with family (both of which are natural conductors for gratefulness), it’s easier than usual to count your blessings.

But why stop when the New Year begins? Why not bring that feeling of gratitude into the whole year? In my experience, consistently leading with a sense of gratitude provides critical benefits for all aspects of life.

Take work, for instance. While showing gratitude has always been important for leaders, it may be the most essential thing any leader can do in a post-COVID world. The events of the pandemic threw some harsh realities into sharp focus, chief among them that life is both unpredictable and precious.  Whatever their reasoning might be, your team is choosing to spend some of their precious time with your organization – and that elicits a feeling of immense gratefulness for me. Demonstrating that gratitude is key for retaining key team members.

Then there’s our non-business family, the foundation upon which many people build their lives (myself included) and often the main motivator to work at all. Despite this fact, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the minutia of day-to-day life and allow the very work that’s providing for your family to stand in the way of meaningful family time.

While sharing words of gratitude around a turkey dinner or giving gifts at a holiday get-together are wonderful ways to show our family how much they mean to us, I would argue there’s no better demonstration of gratefulness than making family time your year-round priority. Not only will this commitment deepen your personal relationships, it can even reflect positively on the “work” side of your work/life balance; it is very difficult to produce quality work without first taking care of the relationships that are most important to us.

As we enter 2023, I challenge all of you to not only take stock of what you’re grateful for, but to keep those things at the forefront throughout the new year. Bringing your “why” to the helm of everything you do keeps all things in perspective and breeds an authentic kind of gratitude that lasts long after the holiday season ends.

Happy Holidays to you and your families, and Happy New Year!