Keep Leading!® Podcast Episode 051: Leading with Gratitude

Keep Leading!® Podcast Episode 051: Leading with Gratitude

Chester Elton
The “Apostle of Appreciation” and the “Guru of Gratitude”
Leading with Gratitude

Episode Summary
Chester Elton, the “Apostle of Appreciation” and the “Guru of Gratitude,” is ranked as one of the world’s top leadership experts and one of the top organizational culture experts. He is the author of multiple award winning, #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling books that have been translated into 30 languages and have sold more than 1.5 million copies. We discussed his latest book: “Leading with Gratitude” which goes on sale March 3!

Check out this 60 Second preview of the episode!


Bio
How do today’s best leaders accelerate business results? By engaging their employees to execute on strategy, vision, and values. Chester Elton has spent two decades helping clients engage their employees in organizational strategy, vision and values. In his inspiring and always entertaining talks, Elton provides real solutions for leaders looking to build culture, manage change and drive innovation. His work is supported by research with more than a million working adults across the globe, revealing the proven secrets behind high performance cultures and teams.

Elton is co-founder of The Culture Works, a global training company, and author of multiple award winning, #1 New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, All In, The Carrot Principle and Leading with Gratitude. His books have been translated into 30 languages and have sold more than 1.5 million copies.

He has been called “fascinating” by Fortune and “creative and refreshing” by The New York Times. Elton has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS 60 Minutes, and is often quoted in Fast Company, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal.

In 2019 Global Gurus research organization ranked Chester #11 among the world’s top leadership experts and #8 among the world’s top organizational culture experts. The Employee Engagement Awards 2019 named him a Top 101 Global Employee Engagement Influencer; and Engagedly named him Top HR Influencer of 2019. He is a member of Marshall Goldsmith’s #MG100 Global Coaches, member of the Fast Company Impact Council, and serves as a board member for Camp Corral, a non-profit for the children of wounded and fallen military heroes.

Some of Elton’s clients include globally recognized organizations, GE, Hard Rock Café, and Novartis. And as an executive coach, he has helped high potential leaders at American Express and The World Bank.

Website
https://www.chesterelton.com/

Other Website
https://www.thecultureworks.com/keynotes/

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/chesterelton/

Twitter
https://twitter.com/chesterelton

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ChesterElton

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/chester.elton/

Leadership Quote
“Ancora Imparo” meaning: “I am still learning.” –Michaelangelo

Get Your Copy of Chester’s Book!
https://www.amazon.com/Leading-Gratitude-Leadership-Practices-Extraordinary/dp/0062965786

Subscribe, Share and Review

Leading with Gratitude

Transcript

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This podcast is part of the C Suite Radio Network, turning the volume up on business.

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Welcome to the Keep Leading!® Podcast, the podcast dedicated to promoting leadership development and sharing leadership insights. Here’s your host, The Leadership Excelerator®, Eddie Turner.

Eddie Turner:
Hello, everyone! Welcome to the Keep Leading!® Podcast, the podcast dedicated to leadership development and insights. I’m your host, Eddie Turner, The Leadership Excelerator®. I work with leaders to accelerate performance and drive impact.

Speaking of acceleration, how do today’s best leaders accelerate business results? According to my guest today, it’s by engaging their employees to execute on strategy, vision, and values. My guest today is Chester Elton. Chester helps clients accelerate business results in this manner. His work is supported by research with more than a million working adults across the globe, revealing the proven secrets behind high-performance cultures and teams. Chester is the author of multiple award-winning number one New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling books all in The Carrot Principle and the one we’ll discuss today, Leading with Gratitude. Chester’s books have been translated into over 30 languages and he’s sold more than 1.5 million copies. You have seen Chester on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’ 60 Minutes and he’s often quoted in Fast Company, Newsweek, and the Wall Street Journal. Global Gurus ranks Chester as one of the world’s top leadership experts, number four to be specific, and Global Gurus rank Chester as one of the world’s top organizational culture experts, number two to be specific there. He’s ranked as one of the top global employee engagement influencers, one of the top HR influencers, and he’s a member of Marshall Goldsmith MG 100 Global Coaches. He’s an amazing man and that’s why I wanted to talk to Chester Elton today.

Chester, welcome to the Keep Leading!® Podcast.

Chester Elton:
Well, thank you very much. My mom couldn’t have done a better job introducing me. Thank you for being so gracious.
Eddie Turner:
Chester, you really are a phenomenal man. I mean, in writing on paper, a person can learn so much about you and if they see your online presence but I’ve had the honor of meeting you in person. You and I are a part of the MG 100 and I got a chance to meet you at the first annual meeting of the MG 100 and you are just a ball of fire and truly one of the nicest people I’ve met the entire time we were at that event. Tell us a little bit more about you and what I may have missed.
Chester Elton:
Well, you’re very kind. That whole MG 100 group, everybody you meet is nicer than the last person you met. It really is a phenomenal group. I love that Marshall calls at the MG 100 because it’s like the 12 teams in the big 10. There’s actually like 180 people in the MG 100. I love the intro and the accolades with my partner Adrian Gostick. We’ve really been fortunate. We’ve worked very hard and we’ve won certain awards and certain accolades. I think more than anything what I’m really proud of is I have four exceptional children that are all the more exceptional because they’ve grown up and left home, they’re upright, they’re the best and they’re really happy and engaged kids. My wife, Heidi, we will celebrate 37 years of marital bliss this year.
Eddie Turner:
Wow! Congratulations!
Chester Elton:
Yeah, thanks. And my father had a great sense of humor. He’d say “You know, Chez, the thing that you and I both have in common is we both married way above our station” which is true. I honestly believe in the old philosophy that “No success in business can compensate for failure in your home.” So, I’m really proud of the fact that I have four older brothers, I grew up in a ridiculously happy home, and I’ve got four kids that are just great. Three are married and they’re all starting their own families, engaged, happy, and, knock on wood, making a difference in the world. So, that’s really what I’m most proud of.
Eddie Turner:
No success in business can replace not having a happy home.
Chester Elton:
Yeah, no success in business can compensate for failure in the home.
Eddie Turner:
I love that quote. Thank you. That is so, so true.

Well, you are full of nuggets of wisdom, as anyone who reads your books will soon discover. And, apparently, a couple million people have already discovered that from What I Read. So, just amazing. And you have five, not just one. I’d be happy with one that has reached the level of success you’ve had but you’ve had five such books. And now you are releasing a new book Leading with Gratitude. What motivated you to write this book?

Chester Elton:
You know, it’s a great story. It actually ties very closely to Marshall Goldsmith. In fact, without Marshall we wouldn’t have this book. Marshall is such a gracious leader and he’s just always coaching me up and want me to be better. Well, with the MG 100 group, he published a book called Work Is Love Made Visible. You might remember that book. It was a compilation of essays from various leaders. And he sent it to me and said “Hey, you’ve got a pretty big following on LinkedIn. Would you help me promote the book?” And I said “Of course, happy to do it.” And he sent me the book and we did the blurbs and did the online promotions. I think we did a couple of videos or so. And he called me and said “Hey, what do you think of the book?” And I said “You know, Marshall, I love the book.” And I love it. I’ve gotten to meet some of the authors in the group. I said “I am surprised though that you didn’t have an essay on gratitude because it’s so much of what you do as a coach. You solicit that feed forward, you get people to give you that coaching and, of course, you never get defensive. The only appropriate answer is to say “Thank you” because that feed forward is helping you to get better.” And he said “You know, you’re right. There should have been an essay on gratitude.” And he says “Well, you know what, look, you’re the apostle of appreciation. I’m the world’s greatest executive coach. We should write a book on gratitude.” I start laughing. I go “Well, are you serious?” because we hadn’t planned on writing a book or another book anytime soon. He says “Seriously. I think we should do this.” And I said “Well, we got to bring in Adrian. Adrian is my partner and a brilliant writer. That’s going to be key when you write a book to have a writer. So, we got to get Adrian involved.” And he goes “That’s great.” He says “Well, how do you want to do it?” I said “Well, we’ll have Marshall Goldsmith with Gostick and Elton.” The working title was The Art of Gratitude. And then we later changed to Leading with Gratitude. He goes “I love this.”
Eddie Turner:
I love the title.
Chester Elton:
Yeah, it’s pretty straightforward, right? No mystery there. So, we started to ideate on it. The more calls we had, the more excited we all got. And then he called me and he said “Hey, I’d got a book coming out. And my agent doesn’t want me to be the lead author. So, do you mind if we do Gostick and Elton with Marshall Goldsmith?” I said “Look, Marshall, the book is kind of your idea. And any way you want it to be represented is fine with us.” He says “You guys are great. Just do it that way.” So, then we put up the bids to all the publishers. It was part of the pitches – Marshall is part of the book and all of that rings with us. And then after about three weeks and people are starting to get interested and we’re about to go to bed, we’re about to do the road show, the dog and pony, and he says “Guys,” he goes “look, I feel really bad. I can’t be an author on the book.” I said “Why?” He said “I got this other book. My agent says, “Look, I’ll write the foreword.”” And he’s written a beautiful foreword that I’d love to share with your listeners, if you want me to, to give that to you as an attachment. I’d love to do it. It tells great stories about gratitude. And he says “I just can’t be on the cover.” He said “Well, you know, Marshall, that would have been good to know like three weeks ago.”
Eddie Turner:
Before you told everybody that “I am writing a book with Marshall Goldsmith on the cover.”
Chester Elton:
I’m close personal friends with LeBron James, which we’re not. And so, I said “Listen, Marshall, don’t worry about it. We weren’t planning a wedding but let’s see what the publishers think. If they’re interested, great. If not, look, no harm, no foul.” And he was so cute. He said “You guys are the best. You’re the best.” I said “Marshall, you know it’s a book about gratitude, right? What did you think?” – “Are you kidding, you son of a gun?” So, anyway, we went to the publisher. We had three publishers really engage on it. Harper Collins Business really put forth the best plan and we couldn’t be more delighted. So, we actually dedicated the book to Marshall.
Eddie Turner:
How about that?
Chester Elton:
And Marshall said “No one has ever dedicated a book to me. And so, this really means a lot to me.” So, we were delighted to be the first one to pay tribute to him really. And you know Marshall, just beyond delightful and really the inspiration behind this book. So, long story short, the reason we have it is Marshall’s fault, absolutely his fault.
Eddie Turner:
I love that story. Thank you for telling me that. I dd not know that. That is very cool. And you told me about your co-author because I was going to tell you when I interviewed Marshall a couple of weeks ago, we got into the discussion about what makes a person a great coach, “What advice would you give them?” And he gave me advice that you become a great coach by having great clients.
Chester Elton:
Yes.
Eddie Turner:
He said no one saw him coach. He had a bunch of great clients when he told people he was a great coach. So, he said “You want to be a great coach? Get great clients.” And then as we started talking about his books, he says “Hey, listen, I’m going to tell you the truth. I’ve written all these books. They’ve been bestsellers across the globe.” I think it’s over 2 million copies. He said “But the secret is I didn’t write any of them.” He said “I’m a thought leader but other people wrote the books.” And so, he told me about Mark Reiter and Sally Helgesen. And so, I said “Marshall, are you telling me that there’s another formula that we need to share with listeners?” He says “You know, I didn’t think about it until you said that. Yes, you want to be a bestselling author? Get a great partner. Get a person who can write.”
Chester Elton:
Well, he’s exactly right. Adrian’s story and how we met is that we were working for a recognition company at the time and I was selling these various recognition programs for years of service and sales and performance and so on. And I embarked on a project with a pharmaceutical company here and I called our CEO at the time, Ken Murdoch. And I said “Hey, Ken, listen, I’ve done this project with this consulting firm and they’ve got a book that outlines their philosophy and how to create the best place to work where you attract and retain great talent.” I said “You know, if you’re a thought leader in your industry, when people call you, you don’t have to cold call. And we’ve got all this data and all these great customers on how to reward and recognize your employees. If we were to publish how to become a thought leader, that would be a huge advantage for us.” And he said “Wow! That’s a great idea.” And he says “Well, you should write the book.” And I said the same thing. Marshall says “You know, I’m not a writer.” And he said something that changed everything. He said “Well, Chester, you’re a smart guy. Figure it out.” So, I played with ideas for like a year like titles and chapters and clients we’ve highlighted. And he called me back and he said “Hey, I really like this idea of a book. I’ve hired a writer. His name is Adrian Gostick. Introduce yourself at the annual sales meet and write the book.” So, he facilitated that. Well, it turns out Adrian, born in England, grew up in Canada, we have that mutual love of hockey in common, and we started to ideate. And a year from when we met, we put a book on our CEO’s desk called Managing with Carrots. And it was the case studies of our best clients and their best programs and the benefits of all that. And that was the first of what now is Leading with Gratitude, it’s our 12th book, and the whole thing. So, again, you’re exactly right. Surround yourself with smart people that believe in you will facilitate how you can grow and develop. And that’s exactly what Ken did. He loved the idea, he found a writer, he put us together, and we wrote seven books for that company and it was a huge differentiator while we were there. So, I agree with Marshall 100%. Surround yourself with smart people, which brings me to another famous quote from my father. He said “You never want to be the smartest guy in the room.” And he said “I know you, Chester. I’ve raised you. Literally that’s not a problem. You can walk into any room and you will not be.”
Eddie Turner:
That’s priceless. “You never want to be the smartest guy in the room” is a great quote. I will not repeat the last part. I love it. Thank you for sharing that.

And, by the way, you mentioned earlier that one of the reasons Marshall wanted to partner with you and get your support is because of your strong LinkedIn following. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, if you are not already following Chester Elton on LinkedIn, please join the other 700,000 people that have because he is quite a resource, you’ll learn a lot, and just a phenomenal guy.

I’m enjoying talking to the apostle of appreciation who’s also the guru of gratitude, who is releasing the book Leading with Gratitude. We’ll have more from Chester Elton right after this.

This podcast is sponsored by Eddie Turner LLC. Organizations who need to accelerate the development of their leaders call Eddie Turner, The Leadership Excelerator®. Eddie works with leaders to accelerate performance and drive impact. Call Eddie Turner to help your leaders one on one as their coach or to inspire them as a group through the power of facilitation or a keynote address. Visit EddieTurnerLLC.com to learn more.

Hi! This is Whitney Johnson, hos of the Disrupt Yourself Podcast and you’re listening to the Keep Leading!® Podcast with Eddie Turner.

Eddie Turner:
Okay, ladies and gentlemen, we’re back with Chester Elton. Chester is known as the apostle of appreciation and the guru of gratitude. He sold over one and a half million books and we’re talking about his new book today Leading with Gratitude.

Now, one of the things I noticed in your book is you address something that we see in our work as coaches. Workers want and need to know that their work is appreciated. Tell us what you explain is the best way for leaders to fill this need?

Chester Elton:
Well, our work, and I always say our because Adrian Gostick is my partner in crime here, is research showed us that when we ask the leaders “Do you think you’re above average in giving gratitude, recognition, affirmation, whatever you want to call it?” …
Eddie Turner:
Everyone said yes, right?
Chester Elton:
Well, almost 70% said “Oh, yeah, definitely. Yeah, I’m really good at it.” And then we asked their direct reports and only 23% agreed.
Eddie Turner:
I wonder why.
Chester Elton:
So, we were really inspired by that to write the book on gratitude because of that gratitude gap. When we looked at the impact of recognition and appreciation at workplace, great things happen. People feel validated. Their voices are heard. They give you discretionary effort. They tend to be more innovative because there’s that psychological safety in the workplace. And that’s not just something that applies to the workplace. It also applies to our personal lives. If you’ve raised kids or you’ve been involved in any kind of charitable work, you understand that those affirmations are key to building people up and bringing out the best in people. And what we needed to do was to really knock down the myths around why people don’t lead with gratitude. And some of them are obvious. You have leaders and still have leaders out there that believe that fear is the best motivator – we got to put the fear of god into us. And what was fascinating, Eddie, was that a lot of the leaders that led with fear didn’t realize they were leading with fear, right? It wasn’t the classic like out of Hollywood, the boss in the smoke-filled room with a big head “You know, we’re going to put the fear of god. Light a fire in the room. Take some heads off today.” No, it was a truth “I’m a truth sayer. I’m just being honest and open and transparent that if we don’t hit these quotas, I don’t know if I can guarantee your jobs.” I guess, that is being transparent. It’s also scaring the crap out of everybody that works for you. So, those kinds of things or “I don’t have time.” It’s all about getting the work done. Let’s just get that work done. We don’t have time for the soft stuff. I always loved that. This leading with gratitude is a soft skill, not a hard skill. And basically, the soft stuff is the hard stuff. And, as a coach, you know that, right? Strategy always works. It’s the implementation that gets crazy because you got to engage people and people are complex and they’re difficult, right? So, we don’t have to be knocked down by various myths, right? “Younger generation needs too much praise and doesn’t come across as genuine” or whatever. We went into the [inaudible][19:52] case to look how is it done. And this is where we really had a lot of fun and it was very transformative for us as researchers, writers. We got to talk to Alan Mulally, the guy who turned around Ford. We got to talk to Garry Ridge, one of my favorite leaders, the head of WD-40. I know you’ve got [inaudible][20:10], right? Everybody does. And how he took that company from 280 million to 2.8 billion. And Hubert Joly who turned around Best Buy and on and on in the for-profit and nonprofit. Becky Douglas that we talked to that, who’s charity Rising Star supports all these leper colonies in India. And we talked to them about the power of gratitude and how it changed everything. You saw Alan Mulally present it. His first and most important step in creating a high-performance culture is people – “Love ‘em up.”
Eddie Turner:
I love that phrase.
Chester Elton:
And so, we broke it down to the best leaders that had these phenomenal results. They were good about seeing what was going on and then expressing their gratitude. And the seeing part was so important. We won’t go through everything. They were really good about understanding the jobs of others. They walked in their shoes so as to not make impossible demands, right? They were really good about looking for small wins and not “We’re just going to celebrate the big wins at the end.” No, they were really good about “Let’s have some markers along the way to build that momentum.” Soliciting and acting on input. They were very open and honest. My favorite by far is the assumed positive intent. They looked for problems. They assumed negative intent. And it was ’90, the past president and CEO of Pepsi when she said “You know, when you assume negative intent, you instill fear in people, right? You’re looking for the negative.” When you assume positive intent, good things happen all over the place. When you assume negative intent, people are annoying and bringing you problems. And when you assume positive, as Hubert Joly said, “Look, I may be the most naïve person on the planet.” He says “Look, I just assume that people come to work and they want to do a good job. And in trying to do a good job, they’re going to make mistakes. And you know what, that’s okay. We can fix those mistakes. I’m not going to demonize you or villainize you and I’m not going to become the victim. I’m not going to demonize you and become the victim. We’re going to see a problem, we’re going to solve it, and I’m going to assume that you were just trying to do a good job. Isn’t that wonderful!
Eddie Turner:
It is wonderful. What you said reminds me of that famous quote that “We judge ourselves by our intentions and we judge others by their actions or their behavior.” So, what you said there really blends in really nicely with that and how we should do the opposite.

Now, we’ve used the word ‘gratitude’ several times. And many of us may have in mind what it means but for those who may not really know, it’s just a word we use so much. Tell us how you define it.

Chester Elton:
Gratitude, for me, is this simple expression of the value that someone has brought into your life. It’s a simple thank you – “I’m grateful for your…” We did an interesting exercise. We ended up not using it in the book. We asked all these leaders “What do you think the opposite of gratitude is?” because they think, intrinsically, we understand being grateful, being appreciative is gratitude. And I always say “You can’t say the opposite of gratitude is ingratitude. That’s too easy.” So, if I were to ask you what word would you use to describe the opposite of gratitude?
Eddie Turner:
The antithesis or the opposite would be … I’d say two things. Number one, not being thankful but also lacking a readiness to show it. So, even if I am grateful that someone has done something nice for me or give me a nice gift, there’s one thing to be grateful for but there’s another having readiness to display it.
Chester Elton:
I really like that. As we asked, people came up with a lot of different answers. One was self-centered, selfish. Indifferent was one that I thought was kind of interesting. Ken Taylor, who was in San Diego with us, who’s the founder of Texas Roadhouse Restaurants, they have 600 restaurants worldwide, I remember asking him and he goes “I didn’t know I had that many.” It’s a phenomenal success story. And I say “Ken, so, what do you think the opposite of gratitude?” and he goes “I don’t know. Maybe just being a jerk.” Anyway, I thought it was phenomenal. The answer that I liked best, and this is just my personal preference, was entitlement, that “If I’m entitled to what you’re giving me, why would I be grateful for that?” And I thought that was a wonderful explanation of the opposite of gratitude. Well, I know we’re going to run out of time and it’s so much fun talking to you. The expressing part of these leaders was really Interesting and that is that they would tailor their gratitude to the person. They understood what it was they valued. So, when they expressed their gratitude, it was in a way that was meaningful to the recipient. So often we see that amiss in leaders – “Well, I like champagne. Everybody loves champagne, I’m going to send them champagne.” – “Well, they’re Muslims” or “They’re devout Baptists. They don’t drink alcohol.” Even though the effort is appreciated, the execution is lacking, right? And this idea of make sure that it’s reinforcing a core value that it’s not just general praise. You and I have seen this often where it’s a new leader or a leader that’s a little full of himself or herself and they come in and they’re being motivating “Hey, great job.” Eddie, great job. You’re the best. You’re number one. You’re the Tower of Pisa.” And you’re go “Why? Give me some specificity.”
Eddie Turner:
Exactly.
Chester Elton:
And do it often. This is one that’s really interesting. We say to leaders “Don’t be afraid. Give it often. Give it now. Give it often. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid that you’re going to miss some stuff. You will. Don’t be afraid that it’s not perfect. It won’t be. Just do it. Do it now because the primacy recency and do it often.” And they go “Well, if I do too often, it’ll lose its impact. It’ll become a trait.” Well, Gallup did this phenomenal study. Do you know how many instances of recognition, personal affirmation in a work day is too much?
Eddie Turner:
Tell me.
Chester Elton:
Yeah. 13 is the ideal number. At 13 different instances, it’s still impact. At number 14 it starts to tail off a little bit.
Eddie Turner:
That’s a staggering number.
Chester Elton:
I challenge you to ask anybody “When was the last time you had 13 interruptions in your day where your boss just came in and said “You know what, Eddie, you’re just phenomenal, just great. Seriously, come on over here. We got some cake. We got balloons. I’ve got these two tickets for a round trip to Hawaii. You should just have them.” Nobody goes home to their spouse or their partner and says “Man, I couldn’t get anything done today. There’s praise, Praise, praise, praise, praise.” If you look at engagement surveys, and by the way, we have a database of over a million, and you look at those, and everybody’s filled one out at some point – “You trust your boss. Will you recommend [inaudible][27:18]” – recognition and appreciation almost always rank near the bottom. So, I love talking to leaders about it. You think you can give it too much? I challenge you to go out and give somebody too much recognition. It’s almost physically impossible.
Eddie Turner:
It is very fascinating. And closely related to that, you make a statement in your book that I found very intriguing. You explained that studies have shown that gratitude is beneficial for those expressing it and it is one of the most powerful variables in predicting the person’s overall wellbeing above money, health, and optimism. Tell us more about that.
Chester Elton:
Well, University of California did this fascinating study and they said “When you are happy and engaged and motivated at work, you’re 150% more likely to be happy in your personal life.” Isn’t that fascinating? So, when we coach up leaders, and we’ve started to do a lot more executive coaching these days, you say “Look, you’ve got a responsibility over and above the productivity and that’s what we’re here for. We want to be productive. We want to be successful. We want to engage our employees. We want to retain our top talent.” Absolutely. The ripple effect when you send people home is greater than you think. When you send people home miserable, you’re sending them home to make their families miserable.
Eddie Turner:
So true.
Chester Elton:
Yeah, we’ve all had those jobs when we came home … I had a job at one point where my wife pulled me aside and said “Look, you got to stop yelling in the shower. You’re freaking out the kids.” We had those conversations – “I should have said it. When he said this, I should have said that.” And at one point, she pulled me aside, we went for a walk and she said “Listen, Chez, you’re quitting this job. And I don’t know what we’re going to do. Here’s what I do know. You’re not doing this anymore.” And she says “I want my husband back.” And here’s the other thing that’s really fascinating to me. Listen, this book for both Adrian I, it was really life changing for us. We were big believers in this before writing this book and talking to these leaders. It was transformational because there wasn’t one leader that we talked to, and we talked to this all-star lineup, there wasn’t one that didn’t take it home and didn’t apply it deeply in their personal lives. Isn’t that refreshing?
Eddie Turner:
That is very refreshing. And I’ve seen so many events praise for the book. And so, there’s no wonder that people are having the reaction to it that they are.
Chester Elton:
Well, what I love is at the end of the book, and we talked to our publisher about this, we said “Look, we’ve got all this data, the Gratitude Gap and the Math and how you do it, we feel pretty strongly about, you’re the publisher, we’ll defer it to you. Take it home, tips on how to engage your friends and family.” And they said “Absolutely. That’s great. That makes it more than a business book. It makes it a philosophy of life.” And so, Dave Crippen, one of our friends who’s got this brilliant marketing company in Manhattan, he said “You know, I was hearing all this stuff about gratitude.” And I thought “Well, you need to bring it home.” He says “We got two kids. We try to eat dinner together as often as we can.” And it was typical, to kids we say “How was your day?” – “Fine.” – “What did you learn at school?” – “Nothing.” So, he said “We changed it up. When you’re at the dinner table, you have to answer three questions. What was the best part of your day? Who are you grateful for that’s not at the table? And who are you grateful for at the table who hasn’t been thanked yet?”
Eddie Turner:
I like those.
Chester Elton:
Isn’t it brilliant? And he said it changes the tone of everything. And he says “Our kids at first were skeptical. Now they’re totally into it.” And you know what, now they bring friends to dinner and they go “Hey, heads up. Answer three questions.” And it’s just so sweet. We have a lot of research around gratitude journals. Have you ever kept a gratitude journal? Are you familiar with those at all?
Eddie Turner:
Yes, yes, absolutely.
Chester Elton:
“Write down three things at the end of the day that you’re grateful for and just write it down and end your day.” And, again, studies have shown that you sleep better, you have a better attitude towards relationships and deepening relationships, blood pressure. I mean, phenomenal results. I keep a gratitude journal. Every morning I do it, actually. And at the end of every day, because I travel quite a bit, my wife and I end the day with a conversation and she says “What are your three?” And we talk about three things that we’re grateful for, three things she’s grateful for. And it’s just such a lovely way to end the day. And we’re a very faith-based family. And she added something that I just love and she says “Those are great. Those are three things you’re grateful for. And where did you see the hand of God in your day today?” I seriously married way above my station.
Eddie Turner:
That’s a great way to end the day as a family.
Chester Elton:
Yeah, it brings that spiritual thing. So, lots of fun best practices. Those are two of my favorites. And our mission really is do we want to create more engaged and productive workplaces? Absolutely. Above and beyond all of that, what we want is we want happy people at work to be happy with their families, to really enjoy and live lives of gratitude because, as you know, and you cited it, not just the people that receive your gratitude do they benefit. You benefit. It makes you feel better. It’s what your parents taught you when you were five years old. It’s always better to give than to receive. Why? Because when you give, you always receive. And I love that philosophy.
Eddie Turner:
Words spoken from the gospel indeed.
Chester Elton:
Can we get an amen? This is the apostle of appreciation asking for an affirmation from the congregation.
Eddie Turner:
I love it. Chester, I could talk to you for hours but that was a nice way of summarizing our conversation that we’ve had here today. This is the Keep Leading!® Podcast and I always love it when in addition to the great content, I guess, that’s provided, if you can give us a simple quote that helps us keep leading.
Chester Elton:
Yeah, there are lots of quotes and I’ve had a lot of them in and around my office. One that I love, I actually lived in Italy for a couple of years and just loved Italian culture and art, the food was phenomenal, and I’ve got a quote from Michelangelo. It’s in Latin – “Ancora Imparo” which means “I am still learning.” And I think that when you dedicate your life to being a perpetual learner, then that’s a very rich life and it’s a great reminder that there’s always more to learn and more things to do.
Eddie Turner:
I like that, “Ancora Imparo” – “I am still learning.” Nice, nice.
Chester Elton:
By the way, I’ll give you another one that I have in my office from Mother Teresa. And it’s about service because I really believe that we are called to live good lives and to be honest and upright in whatever faith, and my faith is to live more Christ-like life. And then we’re commanded to love our neighbors and to love our enemies. And, thirdly, were commissioned to serve. And I love this quote from Mother Teresa. She says “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
Eddie Turner:
Nice.
Chester Elton:
Let’s get to work. Let’s go make a difference.
Eddie Turner:
Well, Chester, tell us where we can learn more about you.
Chester Elton:
So, my mobile number is … Text me. Call me. It’s on all the time. We have a wonderful website TheCultureWorks.com and that’s where you can find our training and a lot of things we publish. You mentioned follow us on LinkedIn. We’ve got a wonderful following there. For Leading with Gratitude, we have a wonderful website LeadingWithGratitudeBook.com. We’ve got some really fun interviews that we did with the people that are in the book, the research. If you buy a book, we can give you all kinds of fun stuff to go along with that. We spend a lot of time and treasure making that really, really engaging. So, if you’re a student of leadership, as you and I are, and you’re looking for those kinds of things to lead better, to not just have a better place to work, to really enrich your life, LeadingWithGratitudeBook.com is a great place to start.
Eddie Turner:
Wonderful. Thank you for sharing that. We’ll be sure to put all this into the show notes so that folks can access this from the KeepLeadingPodcast.com website.

Thank you so much for being a guest on the Keep Leading!® Podcast.

Chester Elton:
Hey, listen, thanks for having me as a guest. It’s not every day that you get to talk to the one, the only Eddie Turner.
Eddie Turner:
Thank you, Chester.
Chester Elton:
My pleasure.
Eddie Turner:
And thank you. That concludes this episode, everyone. I’m Eddie Turner, The Leadership Excelerator®, reminding you that leadership is not about our title or our position. Leadership is an activity. Leadership is action. It’s not the case of once a leader, always a leader. It’s not a garment we put on and take off. We must be a leader at our core and allow it to emanate in all we do. So, whatever you’re doing, always keep leading.

Thank you for listening to your host Eddie Turner on the Keep Leading!® Podcast. Please remember to subscribe to the Keep Leading!® Podcast on iTunes or wherever you listen. For more information about Eddie Turner’s work please visit EddieTurnerLLC.com.

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The Keep Leading!® podcast is for people passionate about leadership. It is dedicated to leadership development and insights. Join your host Eddie Turner, The Leadership Excelerator® as he speaks with accomplished leaders and people of influence across the globe as they share their journey to leadership excellence. Listen as they share leadership strategies, techniques and insights. For more information visit eddieturnerllc.com or follow Eddie Turner on Twitter and Instagram at @eddieturnerjr. Like Eddie Turner LLC on Facebook. Connect with Eddie Turner on LinkedIn.