Monday Quick Tip ~ Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth


Image courtesy of dan/

This week we’re celebrating another Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.  An attitude of gratitude is a positive leadership quality, not just during this week, but every week of the year.

Gratitude attracts, entitlement repels.

“Gift horses” come our way regularly if we have eyes to see them.  The phrase “gift horse” refers to being given a horse as a gift.  As horses get older, their gums recede, showing their age in their mouth.  Inspecting a horse’s teeth is considered ungrateful.

Often our team members, like the proverbial gift horse, come bearing presents.  Here are a few gifts they give to us leaders:

  • The power to influence them
  • Feedback about our leadership
  • Morale reports from fellow team members
  • Their trust
  • Their commitment
  • Their presence
  • Their respect
  • Their attention
  • Their best efforts

None of these gifts we receive are taken lightly.  They afford us the honor and privilege of leading.

What gifts have you been given as a leader?

What gifts do you recognize from your team members?

When they come your way this week just say thank you.


Monday Quick Tip ~ Don’t Become a Dull Person

Image courtesy of Apolonia/

Image courtesy of Apolonia/

Fans of writer Stephen King will remember one of his main characters in The Shining repeatedly typing the phrase, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”  It’s a phrase that serves as a good reminder to us in our “get to work” world.

We struggle with “work-life” balance as leaders.  The people we lead struggle with it too.

If we don’t take some regular time off for rest, renewal and recreation, we will become boring and bored.  Life is more than a one dimensional existence.

Do you have some outside interests that restore your depleted energy?  When we take time to recreate our creativity is “re-created.” Our energy is renewed.

I recently attended the funeral of a 90 year old man.  His was a life well lived.  On the altar at the front of the church his family placed some personal mementos that symbolized his life.  A Pittsburgh Steelers cap, an American flag and a worn tennis racquet stood as gentle reminders that there was more to his life than the 9 to 5.

For people in the United States, today is the celebration of Veteran’s Day.  It’s a great day on many levels, the greatest of which we celebrate and remember the millions who have preserved our freedom in America. One of those freedoms is the pursuit of happiness.

We won’t take today for granted. If you are fortunate enough to have the day off we’ll use it to do something fun and remember the price that was paid to allow us to do it.