“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
– Melody Beattie
If you are a mission-driven, people-focused leader, your end-of-year gratitude list can help you have a bigger impact on the world. After you’ve reflected on the year and written down all that you are grateful for, set aside time for a powerful variation on the traditional list.
- Think about your role as a business leader. Write down 3 to 5 things you are grateful for. For most of you and because we are talking about gratitude, the list will probably be about the difference you made in other’s lives. (Easy!) This is the people part.
- Now, quantify those differences. Use your company’s or industry data to show how those differences translate into dollars and cents that matter to the company. (Not always easy!) This is the business objectives part.
Gratitude & Impact Help Make the Business Case
Why does quantifying the differences in people’s lives (the soft-side) matter? Here are two vitally important ones:
- If you can’t make the business case to get buy-in and resources, you cannot have the impact on the world that you were born to make.
- If you can’t translate the differences you make into numbers—a core element in a business case, you will underestimate your significance to your company and to the world.
What Important Difference Do You Want to Make for Your Company in the Year Ahead?
You’ve done the hardest part—looking at your contribution and quantifying it. Let’s build on it.
Fortified with heartfelt gratitude, enriched with mission-driven attitude, what’s the important difference you want to make for your company? The one you’ve known about but have been too busy to address. The one that’s become important, urgent and expensive.
Let’s imagine it’s investing in your managers’ learning and development. You know it will increase employee engagement, build trust, and improve team performance, etc… All solid benefits. But even these benefits aren’t enough. How would you quantify them to help make the business case and influence other senior stakeholders?
You can use your internal data or turn to industry sources. Gallup for example, reports one in two people leave a company because of their manager. Most of us can relate to this. Hopefully, you’ve never been that manager for someone else!
If your company values profitability and reducing costs, find data to show how better managers increase performance and reduce turnover. (Never ever forget to consider the value of reducing headaches. Like the value of senior leaders no longer having to put out fires because their managers are managing better. We had a client hire us for a highly successful year-long engagement for exactly this type of pain relief!)
Make conservative estimates about potential percentage changes and dollars. Alternatively, make a best case, worst case and probable case estimates.
Yes, it takes some work. Yes, it’s part art, part science. You aren’t buying widgets. Explicitly Identify your assumptions and the basis for them. This will contribute to a healthy discussion with other stakeholders, better assumptions and a superior investment decision.
You Have Important Work to Do in the World
You have important work to do in the world. To do it, you must be able to make the business case. What better place to start than with heartfelt gratitude. Here’s to making a powerful difference for your company in the year ahead.
With gratitude and a mission-driven attitude…