Give the CEO’s Thanks

It’s rather conventional this time of year to post about what one is thankful for. And, of course, that’s natural with Thanksgiving only a day away and an assured conversation at your dinner table during which each person takes a turn sharing that for which s/he is thankful.

I’m all in favor of this ritual, because I believe that acknowledging what we have and being grateful for those things hones our focus on that which we value and motivates us to continue working hard to keep them in our lives.

The job of a CEO or president – and many of those around him – can be particularly time consuming and overwhelming, often to the point of distracting him from why he is doing what he does in the first place. As we’ve discussed, seeing the forest through the trees can be a challenge, and with all the components involved in running a business, it’s easy to be distracted.

On more than one occasion – which is to say dozens – I’ve found CEOs cheating on their spouses, supporting girlfriends on company dollars and getting distracted by the shiny things in life.

I dare say these CEOs forgot why they were working so hard and lost sight of the gratitude they felt for what they had and why they had it. 

I encourage everyone, business leader/owner or not, to reflect on those things that CEOs should be grateful for. Consider the following CEO’s Thanks:

“I am grateful for the internal drive I have to build something that affects many people positively and the wherewithal to channel that drive into actionable steps and concrete work. I am grateful for every person who works at my business with me, who challenges me to stay honest and who keeps our business moving in the right direction. I am grateful for those who have had faith in me along the way, who have funded, guided and supported me. I am grateful for my customers and the reasons they’ve found to continue patronizing my business. Most of all, I am grateful for my family, which motives me to work as hard as possible to support them and teach them the lessons I’ve learned as a company leader and without whom profits, success and power would lose meaning.”

While it’s easy to conjure up this Gratitude Attitude at Thanksgiving, I hope you’ll be thankful for your internal drive, employees, customers, mentors and family every day. When we lose sight of all those who make our work possible, we cease working for many of the right reasons, and I’ve seen this lead businesses down the road to crisis and ruin on more than one – or one hundred – occasions.

This Thanksgiving, I remember those things I try to recall every single day that I’m so grateful for:

1. My Wife

2. My Family

3. The Livelihood that allows me to support them

What are you grateful for? Please share in the comments below.

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.


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