An Attitude of Gratitude

2019-05-16T10:38:12-07:00 September 9th, 2016|Tags: , , , |

Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

In mid-August, Mary and I attended an inspiring event hosted by some special friends. The purpose of the event was to thank the invitees who, in many different ways, had stood with them through some recent big challenges. Our hosts provided a list of invitees entitled “Our Caring Community”. This list included 151 individual names plus, in some cases, other members of their families!

One of their challenges related to the health of the wife and mother of the household. Her liver had failed but she received a new liver about a year ago through a transplant operation. The donor was her son! Recovery after a transplant is not a given as the body sometimes rejects the new organ. In this case, it was successful although not without some speed bumps along the way.

Being followers of Jesus, our hosts first gave thanks to God for His loving care during their time of need. The husband described his wife’s recovery as nothing short of miraculous. At the same time, the family acknowledged the encouragement and help they received from their Caring Community. In response, the guests expressed their love for the family and their thankfulness for the opportunity to be of help.

Reflecting on the evening, I was struck by two things. First, the number of close friends who pitched in was amazing although not surprising since this family is constantly helping others. Second, giving thanks in this fashion requires the humility to acknowledge that we are not independent but rather dependent on God and the other people God puts in our lives. This observation takes on extra weight given that the husband is a leader and one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs.

As leaders, we should recognize that much of any success we enjoy is related to factors totally outside our control.

In my experience, not all marketplace leaders are humble. However, we should recognize that much of any success we enjoy is related to factors totally outside our control. I did not choose the century in which I was born, the country in which I was born, the parents to whom I was born or the specific talents with which I was born. While this observation does not exempt me from applying myself and using my talents, it provides a humbling perspective.

It seems to me that, as marketplace leaders, we need to regularly pause and give thanks for all our blessings. These blessings would include but not be limited to family, friends, shareholders and partners, employees, suppliers and customers. In the Bible, the writer Paul puts it this way.

Thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” (The Message, 1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.