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Foster a Culture of Gratitude
Christine M. Riordan / April 23, 2013
In the movie Remember the Titans, Coach Herman Boone takes his high school football team to the battleground of Gettysburg. Having inherited a fractured and divided squad, Coach Boone implores the players to “take a lesson from the dead. If we don’t come together, right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were.” Coach Boone then establishes the primacy of an important team virtue: “I don’t care if you like each other right now, but you will respect each other.”
In every workplace and on every team, all people have the innate desire to feel appreciated and valued by others. Like Coach Boone, leaders of teams — and team members themselves — should work to foster a culture of value and appreciation.
High performing teams have well-defined goals, systems of accountability, clear roles and responsibilities, and open communication. Just as importantly, teams that foster cohesion with a sense of appreciation and gratitude among the team members maximize performance on a number of dimensions. Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, authors of the Wisdom of Teams, define a high-performing team in part by members’ strong personal commitment to the growth and success of each team member and of the team as a whole.