The Thanksgiving Leadership Challenge

November 21, 2022


Melinta Case Study


This week is symbolic in many ways.  Obviously, it is a time to gather with family and friends to overindulge in food, football, and festivities.  Let’s not forget that this week also marks the official beginning of “The Holiday Season.”  However, there is a deeper need that Thanksgiving should spark in your place of work.

There is an abundance of research that shows a strong correlation between gratitude and happiness.  According to Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael McCullough of the University of Miami have conducted countless studies on thankfulness and gratitude. In one study, they asked participants to journal a few sentences each week.

One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them.  Those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. They also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on stressors and frustration.

Other thoughtful leaders like Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, Jon Gordon, and Shawn Achor (who produced my favorite Ted Talk) all have dedicated their bodies of work to this topic. Their research on positive psychology has moved this topic from theory to strong acceptance in the business community.  Therefore, we’re issuing a call to action to improve leadership development, so you to get the most out of this week, and the remainder of the year. 

The Thanksgiving Challenge:

  1. Relax.  Use this week to slow down and smell the turkey.  When your mind is racing 100 miles per hour it is nearly impossible to be grateful.
  2. Be Present.   I challenge you to put your phone and devices away on Thanksgiving.  Fantasy Football can wait.  So, can the ads for Black Friday shopping wait as well?  Fully immerse yourself in the Thanksgiving experience. 
  3. Thank Someone.  For the rest of November and December, I challenge you to write a thank you note or email to someone daily.   It can be short and sweet, and I assure you this will have a positive impact on you and the recipient.  

So, in my attempt to follow my own advice, I want to thank all of you for being part of Velocity’s world.   We are so grateful for our clients, network, and friends that allow us to improve their leadership development and their organizations. Enjoy your well-deserved time off by relaxing and being present.