Gratitude - The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Strange topic I suppose but as I become more ‘experienced’, these things took on greater importance. Which might suggest that somewhere along the way they had slipped down the list, and turns out they had, without me even noticing. Business can at times be a harsh environment in which to maintain gratitude and good values.
The topic of gratitude came up recently as I was vacationing on a Caribbean beach on the Riviera Maya, Mexico. I realized how many things I have to be happy about, which are many and easy to consider while sitting on the beach sipping a beverage of choice. I have to admit that it's easy to have gratitude while spending time with those we love in such a gorgeous location, but what about those times that are difficult and dark? Sometimes those are also ‘signposts’ on our way to gratitude. I know they were for me; that was all part of my maturing and re-prioritizing in my life.
The basic change for me was when I stopped spending so much time looking for what was ‘wrong’ in my life and started focusing on so much that was good. With this change came the realization that I have many friends that are in desperate, dark, and difficult times either personally or professionally. Sometimes both. I stopped focusing on my hard times and tried to consider their challenges and struggles. It falls into the category of giving rather than receiving. And what did I discover?? Our parents were right, it is much better to give than to receive. Even as we are bombarded with subliminal messages of buy, buy, buy, possess, possess, possess. I came to realize the power in being there for a friend in need and that my problems often paled when I saw the pain and problems experienced by others. So, I became willing to help where I could. Often simply sitting with someone over coffee or lunch to listen or simply a phone call to ‘check-in’.
So what does all of this have to do with Leeds Group and our business plans? Life is all about values. All of our actions, whether in business or family life, are based on our values. If we value life, we probably won't take a life away; if we value honestly, we won't be dishonest; if we value others, we will respond with respect; if we value ourselves, we will make healthy choices. So when we started putting our ideas down on paper about our mission and vision for Leeds Group, we started with our values:
Ethics and transparency are our pride
Our people are our most important asset
We pride ourselves on the quality of our work
Leadership and innovation are our foundation
We put a lot of time and thought into these values because together they form an important foundation upon which we wish to build our business. When you work with Leeds Group, this is where we begin. To some it might seem trite and even silly. But for us, it is at the heart of everything we do. It's what we expect from our members and how we will present everything we do. You can have confidence that when you work with Leeds Group, either as a member or as a customer attending our events, you will be treated with respect, integrity and honesty. Everything else comes from that.