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Gratefulness and Grace. A short letter of Thanksgiving.

All year long, I dig in and drive TalenTrust to the next goal. A good trait in some ways, but it often makes me forget to slow down and remember all of the meaningful things I've done in my life so far, the wonderful people who've taught me along the way, and how much fun I've had. I'm thankful every year when Thanksgiving arrives and I can't escape its invitation to slow down, say thanks, and try to replace drive with grace, at least for a few days. My guess is you can relate. Below are a few thoughts on how we can bring the spirit of Thanksgiving to work.

First and foremost, I am grateful that I am a woman. Sounds funny, but as a woman, I get to be a daughter, sister, and most of all, a wife and mother. My husband and son are my “why” every day. As a woman business owner, I’m also able to influence a business community, employees, customers and business partners, with uniquely female leadership traits. I hope that your company culture welcomes and values gender and other differences, which enrich every aspect of your business.

I am grateful for my mentors and the opportunity to mentor. My mentors, beginning with my father, have taught me most of what I know and helped me become the person I want to be. Maybe even more gratifying is being a mentor myself and watching mentees succeed and move on. I still carry each one of these people with me, mentors and mentees, even after decades. If you’re young, actively seek out mentors to boost your career and personal growth; and if you’re an experienced business person and haven’t been a mentor, I guarantee you’ll get great joy and satisfaction from sharing your unique wisdom. And, bonus benefit, mentoring will make you a better leader.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably someone who understands and shares with me the immense satisfaction of growing a business. Once again this year, I’m thankful for the accomplishments of my team and for the pleasure of working with my clients and advisors. I’m especially grateful to the Colorado business community for their generosity and their outpouring of sympathy and support when my father died. I’m also thankful to the Vistage peer-to-peer community, which has helped me grow as a leader while growing my business over the years. Thanksgiving is an especially important time to thank everyone who has contributed to your success over the year, most of all your people. Give them a little extra time off with their families this year … you’ll get it back tenfold in productivity after the holiday.

Overarching all, I’m grateful for the greatest country on earth, the United States of America (as my father used to say), where you are free to be whoever you want to be. We are privileged to live in a country where we can grow and thrive and help others do the same. Ever evolving, I’m grateful that we all share the belief that every child deserves a loving home with food and a bed, an education, and opportunity to enjoy a good life. We, as employers and managers, have so much to contribute to the welfare of America by providing fair-paying jobs and supportive, respectful workplaces.

With all the turmoil and “news” surrounding us, it would be easy to focus on the negative this Thanksgiving. Don’t do it! Instead, take this time to accept Thanksgiving’s invitation to take a break from all the noise. Give those you care about the gift of grace through kindness, courtesy, forgiveness, and humor. Everyone you touch will have one more thing to be thankful for, and so will you.

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