Leading Your Team with Gratitude With Chester Elton | Coronavirus Update May 27th

Leading Your Team with Gratitude With Chester Elton | Coronavirus Update May 27th

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Posted by Ian H., President

May 28, 2020

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May 27, 2020 quick update


Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard

is reporting 5,682,389 confirmed cases, 354,944 deaths and 2,337,385 recovered globally.

1,697,459 million US cases and we have reached a grim milestone at 100,271 deaths and 391,508 recovered as of 3:32am on May 27. 

 In terms of

relative contribution to the global COVID-19 incidence

, South America has surpassed all other continents, currently representing nearly 30% of the global daily new cases. North America represents 26% of the daily incidence (and steadily decreasing).

Potentially overlooked due to the total volume of cases in the United States is


’s concerning acceleration. Mexico is currently

#5 in the Americas

in terms of daily incidence and

#8 globally

. Mexico has reported a total of 74,560 cases, including 3,455 new cases, its highest daily total to date.



According to a new study, a third of Americans are

showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, which is a huge jump from before the pandemic

. For example, pre-pandemic, 25% of adults in the U.S. said they experienced depressed moods. During the pandemic, this number went to 50% - double. Rates of anxiety and depression were far higher among younger adults, women, and the poor, which suggests the decline in mental health could be more about financial struggle than the virus itself. 


In more hopeful news, Disney World will reopen its gates, ending a multi-month closure.

The Disney theme park, which employs some 70,000 people, plans to begin a phased reopening on July 11 for its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks and July 15 for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, the company said today. Walt Disney World as well as Disney's Disneyland resort in Anaheim, California, closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Disney is implementing several measures to reopen safely and prevent the spread of the coronavirus at its parks. An opening date has not been announced for Disneyland here in California.

May 27 Topic: Leading Your Team with Gratitude

Fun Fact From Housecall Pro

Housecall Pro was originally planning to have an employee appreciation day, but that plan had to be stopped due to the pandemic. As an alternative way to show gratitude for employees, Housecall Pro’s executive team hand wrote letters, put them in envelopes, and sent them to our employees. It’s a fun, creative way to show your appreciation to employees.

Special Guests: Chester Elton 


Introduce yourself. What made you who you are and what brought you to this moment?

It all started back in Edmonton, Alberta. In the past 20 years, my co-author Adrian and I have been studying workplace culture, leadership, and the idea of how important gratitude is that holds all these things together. We wrote a wonderful book called The Carrot Principle and it was about when you receive an award and when people felt valued and appreciated. 

Then it became very evident that if you didn't get your culture, the recognition didn't matter. If you had a toxic culture, just throwing a bunch of awards that your people, that just makes them think you're trying to work harder for less. 

So we took a deep dive into the culture and we found that people need it needed to believe what they did matter and that they made a difference. And when they made a difference, somebody noticed it and celebrated.

Every one of the good leaders leads with gratitude. Gratitude is engaging people emotionally and forming a relationship. Highly engaged employees believe in their company and culture, and know that their leader cares about them as people. There's that emotional connection and to be a good leader, you have to be tough.

All the data shows that if you lead with gratitude in your care about your people, it's a much better way to lead. It's more productive and innovative. My favorite data point is that when you're happy, engaged, and motivated at work, you're 150% more likely to be happy and engaged and motivated in your personal life. You need to send your people home happy, and that ripple effect into families, spouses, and communities is so important.

What is your superpower that allowed you to unpack everything into a book? What are you really good at?

I have a partner that is a brilliant writer. We have this amazing partnership and we fill in each other's gaps. This is our 12th book together and my co-author Adrian is a brilliant writer. When you're really passionate about something, you know it’s not what you do, it's who you are.

You want to have followers that really buy-in because it’s one thing to be able to preach it what you want. You know those people believe with you are as passionate as you are, and that’s when it starts to ripple, then you get a movement going. That’s really behind the book and you find that passion, you find the data that proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt, then you give people tools and say you can do this too. 

It's not just a nice story. This can be your story. And that's where I think it's powerful.

Can you debunk the myth that gratitude is nice to have and not a need to have when running your business and in your life in general?

I’m happy to debunk that myth. One of the guys that we interviewed for the book, his name is Chad Pennington, he said to me, you know people that lead with gratitude don’t think less of themselves, they think of themselves less. And I thought that was just such a wonderful way to explain servant leaders people that care about their people. It’s a hard skill and it is absolutely a must-have, particularly in a crisis, because people are already feeling vulnerable, isolated, and left out. 

And there's no better way to engage people and let them know that they're remembered, that they matter, and that they're important than simple expressions of gratitude, or a simple phone call that asks how they’re doing and how you can help.

The legacy you live is the legacy you leave

And don't be afraid that you're going to make mistakes, instead, plan on making mistakes. That's going to be part of the journey. Once you get over that, you know, then it starts to get really good, really fast. People appreciate the effort. Be the leader that you want people to remember you by, what do you want your legacy to be? 

What are some of the other hallmarks of a leader who leaves with gratitude?

Part one of my favorites is to assume positive intent. Especially during this time, be patient, and be patient with your people.  Good leaders know a little bit about their people, the extraordinary leaders know a lot about their people.

Can you break down what assuming positive intent is?

One of the people we interviewed for the book once said, I may be crazy, but I just assume everybody is coming to work and they want to do a good job. And along the way, they're going to make mistakes and that's okay. We can fix mistakes and move on.

Amy Edmundson at the Harvard School of Business talks about creating psychological safety. And when you feel safe at work, you can admit a mistake without fear of losing your job. You can innovate, knowing that most innovations fail right. Then you create that psychological safety when you assume positive intent about people, now you have a safe place to work and innovate. You can see managers as collaborators and friends.

What does appreciating people cost?

One of the myths that we debunk is it's all about the Benjamins you know just throwing money at people, it'll be fine. But how long does it take you to send a little text? Tell them, hey, thinking about you and your family. I know that you've been through some tough times. You need somebody to talk to give me a call. How long does it take to write a little thank you note and drop it in the mail? I mean, it really is that simple. And it doesn't cost. In fact, the return is more than you would think. 

It's that virtuous circle that just starts building that that culture where now we can talk about problems. Now we can solve problems. Now we can be vulnerable.

How we can take that that leading with gratitude home and improve our lives and make our lives richer?

These leaders lead with gratitude in their workplace, they all took it home, all of them did. You can start by talking to your kids during dinner and make your kids answer three questions at every meal:

  1. Who (at the table) are you grateful for?

  2. Who (not at the table) are you grateful for?

  3. What was the best part of your day?

Berkeley and Penn did these great studies on on on the power of gratitude ending your day in a grateful state. They found that when you end your day with gratitude you sleep a little better. Your blood pressure's a little better. Don't leave your best self at work. Take your best self home too.

One of the other things that are important is to embrace hard times.

Who is someone within your network that would be good on Housecall Pro’s evening webcast show?

I just had a really interesting guy on my left with a gratitude live show on LinkedIn, and his name is Allen Ginsberg. He wrote a really interesting book as a young guy, and he talks about the creativity curve. I think right now, more than ever, we've got to get creative. We've got to think of the box. He said a lot of people think that people are born creative, but no, it’s a learned skill like anything else. The #1 potential companies are looking for when hiring is creativity, because when AI comes in and replace a lot of stuff, they will still struggle with creativity.

What’s a fun way to recognize a VIP employee every week?

Do a quick little survey and just say, hey, when you're really knocking on the park, how do you want to be recognized? Make it like a fun traveling award. 

Questions from The Audience

How do I help an employee turn away from pessimism and towards gratitude?

it really is tough and sometimes not everybody's gonna buy into it. Try and say, listen, I just want you to end the day, just think of three things that went right today. Not many of us wake up and say what's going to go right today, and encourage then to do that and share it with somebody. Talk to them about how grateful you are that they showed up every day and did a great job and then encourage them to kind of do the same. Maybe even just give them a stack of thank you notes and a pen with the company logo on it.

Don’t Forget to Join Us Online

Don’t forget to join your regional meetup and learn more about how to navigate this crazy time, with marketing, sales, and operations tips. 

Network with other professionals in your area and receive a $15 Grub Hub gift card, just for participating. Register today! 

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Legal disclaimer

Housecall Pro is offering the Coronavirus Evening Update for Home Service Businesses for informational purposes only and to foster thoughtful communication and discussion regarding the COVID-19 pandemic; Housecall Pro is not offering advisory services or otherwise advising or representing any members of the group invited to participate.  Housecall Pro is not offering legal, medical or other professional advice in the Coronavirus Evening Update and makes no representations or warranties regarding the content of the Coronavirus Evening Update.  Participants should obtain independent advice relating to their businesses and their particular circumstances.


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